Food & Drug warns against misleading Vinegar labels

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The Government analyst Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) is informing consumers of the difference between purchasing Diluted Acetic Acid instead of the natural product Vinegar.

Moreover, the GA-FDD is advising importers and local manufacturers that they must clearly distinguish, via their labels, between ‘products that are solutions / liquid prepared by diluting concentrated acetic acid’ and actual Vinegar which is a ‘solution / liquid obtained by the acetous fermentation of an alcoholic liquid and shall contain no less than 4 per cent or more than 12 per cent of acetic acid’.

See their full statement below: 

The Government analyst Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) wishes to advise all Importers and local Manufactures that the word “Vinegar” must not appear on the label of products that are solutions / liquid prepared by diluting concentrated acetic acid.

According to the Law of Guyana Food and Drug Regulation Division 16 (I, VII & VIII), Vinegar is a solution / liquid obtained by the acetous fermentation of an alcoholic liquid and shall contain no less than 4 % per cent or more than 12 % per cent of acetic acid, while the labels of a solution / liquid prepared by diluting concentrated (synthetic) acetic acid must state “Diluted Acetic Acid (Food Grade 4-12%)” and not Vinegar.

The Department has recently observed that there are several labels of locally manufactured and imported products that are actually solutions / liquids of food grade diluted acetic acid that  misleadingly bear the word Vinegar. According to the Law of Guyana Food and Drug Act Chapter 34:03 section 6;

“Any person who labels, package, treats, processes, sells or advertises any food in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character, value, quantity, composition, merit or safety is guilty of an offense”

Consumers are being advised about this practice and to take a closer look at labels so that they can make an informed choice between what is Vinegar (natural) and / or Diluted Acetic Acid (synthetic).

Members present at our last monthly National Food Safety and Control Committee Meeting were briefed about this practice and action will be taken against perpetrators which includes and is not limited to; the refusal of entry into Guyana products with misleading labels, refusal of approval of local labels with the word Vinegar on products that are diluted acetic acid and the withdrawal of support to local manufacturers who refuse to comply with labelling requirements for this category of product.

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