The Government Analyst – Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) is alerting consumers about the circulation of Colgate-branded toothpaste that is on sale at a significantly reduced price, but which has been expired since October 2002.
This practice was brought to the Department’s attention by way of a consumer complaint.
An alert was dispatched to members of the National Food Safety and Control Committee, Public Health and Environmental Health Officers (EHO’s) in all ten Administrative Regions and municipalities.
Inspectors of the Department assisted by Ranks from the Guyana Police Force visited several retail outlets in Georgetown including the Bourda Market, the Stabroek Bazaar and the La-Penitence Market, where the expired products were seized and removed from premises. Similar exercises are currently being conducted in regions in 2, 3, 6, 8 and 10.
The Department is currently awaiting the result from the exercise carried out in the outlying regions. Expired products have been found in Stabroek and Bourda Markets and indicate they were manufactured for Canada.
Law enforcement Officers who accompanied Inspectors of the Department have arrested one retailer who has been taken into custody for knowingly and deliberately selling an expired product to unsuspecting consumers.
Criminal charges will be filed against any retailers and wholesalers / distributors under the Public Health Ordinance CAP 145 Section 99 and the Food and Drug Act CAP 34:03 Section 14(b).
According to the consumer who raised the complaint to the Department; within three days of using the product, severe pain and headache symptoms occurred which persisted for a few days after product use was discontinued.
The Department is strongly advising consumers, particularly during the festive season to pay closer attention to the expiry date and the label of products. Consumers are advised not to consume or use products that are in a foreign language, have their expiry date removed or that appear suspicious. The GA-FDD requests that anyone having additional information or is affected to make contact with the Department on telephone number 222-8859.
The official distributor of this product, Massy Distributors, has since written to the Department distancing themselves from this product since same is not part of their supply chain and is currently assisting the Department with the investigation.