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Investigation Continues into Mislabelled Meat Products

16 April 2013

SOUTH AFRICA - An investigation into meat labelling following news of undeclared products in meat in South Africa is to continue, with an outcome expected in two to three months’ according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

The investigation was launched in February when the DTI minister Rob Davies called on the National Consumer Council to look into allegations of mislabelling following the discovery of undeclared products in meat.

Research conducted by a study group at the University of Stellenbosch to the content of various meat products in South Africa found the presence of donkey, water buffalo, goat and other undisclosed meat products in certain processed foods available to consumers at retail stores.

Failure to disclose the ingredients contained in food products constitutes the breaching of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

“The National Consumer Commission (NCC) is busy with the investigation. We think in two to three months’ time the results will be out,” said DTI spokesperson Sidwell Medupe.

“Companies that breach the CPA can be fined,” added Mr Medupe.

"In terms of Section 24 of the CPA, consumers have a right to disclosure of information: this disclosure includes product labelling and trade descriptions. It is imperative that whatever is put out for human consumption must comply with the labelling and disclosure requirements as contained in the CPA. The Commission has a responsibility to monitor compliance with the relevant labelling requirements,” Mr Davies said earlier.

The fine could be up to R10 million or a 10 year prison sentence.

On Sunday, a weekend newspaper had identified several big name stores as having stocked incorrectly labelled meat products.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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