Extracted from the Observer – June 2, 2016)
STANDARDS for labelling of products are now being established by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica for implementation by year end, according to Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda.
“Before the end of this year, we are going to implement a system where anywhere we go throughout the length and breadth of this country and find products without a Bureau of Standards label, it will be confiscated,” Samuda announced.
He was speaking at a luncheon held in honour of visiting Cuban Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Ambassador Ileana Nunez Mordoche, at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston, on May 25.
Addressing members of the private sector and heads of agencies within the ministry, Samuda said coming out of discussions held earlier with the Cuban delegation at his St Lucia Avenue office, one of the areas identified for strengthening was training for workers in critical industries such as the sugar cane industry.
He expressed concerns that sugar destined for use as raw material was being diverted into the retail trade, which, he said, poses risks to consumers as the possibility of contamination exists.
The minister further lamented that manufacturers were using the opportunity and the facility extended to them to import sugar as raw material to channel it into the retail sector, and were thereby avoiding paying taxes on the imported sugar.
“We cannot move forward if there are individuals in our productive society that continue to engage in practices that not only put our people at risk, but deny us the opportunity to obtain taxes that should flow from those products,” Samuda said.