A picture of the “fake” milk at the centre of the issueThe Government Analyst Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) will be moving to take legal actions against persons/businesses who are selling fake products on the local market.GA-FDD head Marlon Cole, gave the warning on Tuesday after reports surfaced that a Bourda, Georgetown grocery store had sold a woman fake powered milk.Reports are the customer returned the milk to a store and informed the employees that the milk was not authentic and that she could not risk feeding it to her children.A picture of the “fake” milk at the centre of the issueThe customer examined the product; it was dented and had a label printed in a foreign language.Speaking with this publication, Cole said besides the regular inspections his department conducts, the GA-FDD has to act based upon complaints. He said once a formal complaint is lodged, an investigation will be launched.Speaking directly about the fake milk, Cole said, “We would have to make a determination, particularly as to the source of such milk…There are legal repercussions in terms of someone selling milk (or any consumable) that is fake… That is knowingly or deliberately selling a product not up to standard.”“Currently,” he continued, “The period between January and March we make stops and visit (business places) for licensing purposes by our officers, public health officers and sanitary inspectors.”He affirmed that customers have the right to seek refunds on their purchases if it does not reach the legal standard. That being said, Cole noted that such matters must be thoroughly examined because of instances where claims made have no merit.Part II, section 6 of the Food and Drugs Act states “Any person who labels, packages, 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 offence.”Part seven also reinforces this message, stating that “Where a standard has been prescribed for a food, any person who labels, packages, sells or advertises any article in such a manner that it is likely to be mistaken for such food, is, unless the article complies with the prescribed standard, guilty of an offence.”The GA-FDD is the regulatory body enforcing these laws and ensuring that consumable goods including drugs, food and beverages meet international standards and requirements. It also bears the responsibility for ensuring that goods are healthy for human consumption.The Department also ensures that when these items are imported they are screened, and pass the mark set for local standards before being released to the market for sale. It is not the first time the agency would have encountered fake milk or other fake products.It was only last year that the Department had cause to refuse entry to these shores some 2000 cases of tuna.According to reports, the containers were labelled “BUIWICK” instead of “BRUNSWICK” and the exact address of the manufacturer in the country of origin was not stated.The actions were taken by the Department after they were informed by an inspector’s report of the issue.The Department refused the cartons on the basis of the section six of the Food and Drugs Act previously quoted.At the time, it was reported that the Department would be notifying the regulatory agency of the People’s Republic of China on their findings and action, because official documentation with attestation were used to facilitate the shipment of the falsely labelled tuna to Guyana.Consumers were also being warned to always take a second look at labels, to ensure the ‘country of origin’ and the exact name and address of manufacturers are clearly stated.