GMSA concerned over attempts to import food, drugs & cosmetics in breach of local regulations

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Some of the cosmetics that were recently seized by GA-FDD

See full statement from the Guyana Manufacturing and Service Association (GMSA)

The Guyana Manufacturing and Service Association, GMSA, is concerned with recent attempts to import food, drugs and cosmetics into Guyana, circumventing applicable Food and Drug regulations, especially regarding labeling and shelf-life/expiry dates.

The organization recognizes that these regulations are authorized by the Food and Drug Act and are in place to protect public health of all Guyanese and to ensure safety and effectiveness when using these products. Consuming or applying expired food, drugs and cosmetics and inappropriately using insufficiently labeled or mislabeled items can make the item ineffective or be dangerous or even lethal in the worst case.

The GMSA supports the Government Analyst – Food and Drug Department, GA-FDD, in fulfilling its mandate to enforce these regulations and calls on all importers to meet the regulatory requirements for importing these items.

The Association calls on these importers and their agents to desist from seeking to apply pressure to the GA-F&DD, including through social media and other means, to bypass these regulations.

The GMSA further wishes to discourage interference into this regulatory body that has to be independently focused on its mandate and to execute same with integrity.

Considering the increased economic activity and opportunities in Guyana due to the country now being an oil and gas producer, and the associated increased movement of people with their accompanying requirements, preferences and expectations, the role of the GA-F&DD becomes even more critical to ensure the safety and / or effectiveness of food, drugs and cosmetics used in the country.

The GMSA therefore urges that the GA-F&DD be upgraded with the necessary resources, including suitable administrative and testing facilities, to implement relevant and updated regulations.