Fin24

Third of SA food harmful, misleading

2010-10-22 22:10

Cape Town - There should be an investigation into the high number of food samples failing safety tests, the Democratic Alliance said on Friday.

"The high number of food samples that failed safety tests by the Forensic Chemistry Laboratories suggests that there are major problems with quality control over food in South Africa," DA spokesperson on health Mike Waters said in a statement.

"The DA will be writing to the minister of health to ask what steps he is taking to investigate this problem and ensure that South Africans are better protected from harmful products or misleading claims."

The food division of the Forensic Chemistry Laboratory was responsible for testing random food samples to ensure that they complied with the Foodstuff, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, Waters said.

"In reply to a DA parliamentary question, the minister of health recently revealed an alarmingly high number of these samples failed.

"Overall, 33.6% of food samples taken this year did not comply with the act (compared to 29.3% last year), and a range of other products that South Africans consume every day failed."

According to Waters in 2009 to 2010, 34.8% of chips failed, 10.6% of meat tested, 25.9% of drinks and 12.5% of the dairy tested.

In the same period 66.6% of the fortified food tested failed.

"The reasons that the products could have failed vary, from ones that could have serious implications for health (such as a product being contaminated with a toxin or being decayed), to ones that are not necessarily harmful but amount to deception on the part of the seller or manufacturer," said Waters.

Waters said the figure for fortified foods was "particularly alarming".

"Whatever the reasons for the failures, it is clear that a large number of products are being sold to the public on the basis of false claims.

"The extent of this problem clearly warrants a thorough investigation."

Health department spokesperson Charity Bhengu could not immediately be reached for comment.

Comments
  • Pappabeer - 2010-10-22 22:51

    And then we think that it is unthinkable to even touch food from China!

  • William - 2010-10-22 23:43

    This world is becoming such a small place..

  • madchief - 2010-10-22 23:52

    So who do you believe? government or private sector? lol

  • hmm - 2010-10-23 00:16

    Soon food and water like in all African nations will become very hard to find, rich people will find it increasingly difficult to isolate themselves from these problems. There are no indicators that South Africa won't follow the same path as other African nations did after independence.

  • Mj - 2010-10-23 03:08

    I hd travel around jhb superm/kets(incl. Pick n pays e.g Bara,Soweto)- no low fat maas, unlike Ladysmith.with ful cream my stomuch becomes more acidic & fart 2 death!

  • YasButIDunno - 2010-10-23 05:52

    They should pay a visit to Woolworths in Benmore Gardens shopping centre. The Commanche that runs the place isn't very fussy about "sell-by" dates.

  • Andre - 2010-10-23 06:14

    Is this going to be one of those things the media brings out. And then it just fizzles cuz nobody does anything? Those products should be taken off the shelves immediately. And public should know what products failed. It is our right

  • Wendy - 2010-10-23 06:32

    Please advise whether the fortified food product "Ensure" is safe. I give it to a long term hospitalised patient and want to be sure I am doing the right thing. 6s34W

  • Gwyn - 2010-10-23 06:36

    I am not surprised at these figures, considering what South Africans think is good for their themselves. I stopped eating the local bread, which is refined, fortified and sold as healthy, two years ago. I have lost weight, my IBS has vanished, my arthritis flares have almost stopped. I stopped imbibing dairy products 12 years ago and if I eat cheese my joints and stomach scream in protest for days afterwards. However, if I eat unprocessed, fresh foods without preservatives I am a whole lot healthier. You are what you eat. Eat junk food and you are junk.

  • Brendan Sutcliffe - 2010-10-23 06:37

    Name and shame these companies. There is no point in keeping it silent so consumers can spend more of their money on toxic food.

  • Jim Beam - 2010-10-23 06:41

    No patch on China........almost everything is contaminated and unsafe.

  • Jon - 2010-10-23 06:46

    So this Charity Bhengu, who is paid to be the "spokesperson" (i.e. telephonist, probably) for the health department, is unavailable? Was she off on a lunch break? Or is she always this slack?

  • Skipper - 2010-10-23 06:48

    Name them and shame them!

  • alex - 2010-10-23 06:59

    It is all well and good to run this story but without nameing the products involved and taking the manufacturing companies on ,this could be just a 'smoke and mirrors' piece of journolistic licence. If it is true there can be no chance of being sued but would at least warn the public, and get the errant companies to improve their production quality. By not 'walking the walk' you are putting consumers at risk. Let the market be informed.

  • croix - 2010-10-23 07:00

    More shockingly depressing news for the inhabitants of this 'cowntree'? Why are the people responsible for monitoring food safety still receiving full pay and benefits then !? Very little to feel bouyant and positve about....

  • Rowbot - 2010-10-23 07:40

    Yes, and something needs to be done with the VERY high levels of sodium found in almost 80% of products available in our stores.

  • sagren - 2010-10-23 08:46

    I knew it.Come to the stores in the townships to see the rubbish that is being fed to the masses. So one in the govt. is making a lot of money by letting the SH!T into the country.

  • Wonder - 2010-10-23 09:01

    Where are these people? Why can they never be reached? Are they not supposed te be at work?

  • Bart - 2010-10-23 09:04

    Look at the quality of the Irrigation water the farmers are FORCED to use, and you will find the cause of the downward spiral! More sewerage flowing into the ONCE PRISTINE rivers than actually flowing to the Sewrage Farms! Looks like things have "IMPROVED" since 1994 eh!

  • Shirley - 2010-10-23 09:09

    One can now understand why people are getting cancer and over weight and generally unhealthy. I suppose at the end of the day it is all about making money...... and to hell with people. Food manufacturers / processors should be held accountable.

  • @author - 2010-10-23 09:19

    I hope this will be a lesson for the ANC. Not only have your newfound Chinese Friends been raping and pillaging our oceans, creating a market for rhino horn and body parts of endangered animals, colonized Africa in the name of economical assitance, proven that human rights don't mean squat to them, single handedly buggered up the textile industry in this country causing thousands of ANC cadres to lose their jobs, but now they are poisoning us with their foodstuffs too, like my mom has always said, you are judged according to the friends you keep...the question is, do you guys care enough to do something about it, or is your hate for the white man blinding you to the dangers of this cancerous growth called China?

  • Sidney Hendricks - 2010-10-23 09:51

    How do i get a list of these products?Why don't they notified the public?This is of grave concern to the South African public.

  • zilla - 2010-10-23 11:37

    Why aren't the brands/products that fail exposed?

  • Sakkie - 2010-10-23 16:50

    Release the details of these distributors so we can boycott them

  • Expat - 2010-10-25 10:43

    Why the surprise, Another example of general African standards plain and simple

  • for Wendy - 2010-10-26 08:00

    to Wendy. If you really want to know if a product is safe, check on their international certificates. Companies like Nestle need to comply to health regulation in countries that are incredibly strict. The safest products i've found is Herbalife - a little more expensive, but at least you know what you're getting.

  • Grocer - 2010-10-26 08:20

    Easy to blame China..Why is D.A barking without giving us any evidence? Most probably because most of the products contaminated are manufactured by S.African firms owned by white millionaires who take advantage of the government standards.Dairy products, meat,fruit and veggies are all South African items.Don't be naive.D.A is simply too scared to talk.

  • So What? - 2010-10-26 10:00

    @ Gorcer - read the article - the data was supplied by the government on being quesioned by the DA, so what has the government done about it!!??? Where is your evidence to point fingers at white owned companies as you put it? Does China have a good record in respect of food and food components? Look at all the recalls as a result of their contaminated products!!

  • DeonL - 2010-10-26 10:10

    I am sticking to my Herbalife shake the last 13 years, never have been healthier! Due to water and pollution problems in SA we can not blame the Farmers.

  • ShirleyH - 2010-10-26 10:54

    DeonL - I cannot agree more! Have been on Herbalife for only 8 months now, but the results speak for themselves. @Wendy - give the hospitalised patient Herbalife with no worries at all. It's clean, healthy and highly beneficial. @Mj - I would recommend Herbalife any day. Try it and you'll find out for yourself why we speak so highly of it. Gastric problems will be resolved - no idle promise! @Shirley (my namesake) - much the same advice as the above two persons. You cannot go wrong with Herbalife. If any of you wish to contact me, my email address is shirley.nam@gmail.com - I am based in Windhoek, but can help you get product if you wish. Have a happy day everyone - I at least know where my next meal is coming from and I'm not concerned about whether or not it will be good for me - I KNOW IT WILL!! :-)

  • OComeon - 2010-10-26 12:47

    Does no one else find it odd that these blanket statements can be made but no names named? Tell me the name of the manufacturer and/or the product and I may believe you. Else it's just another load of political claptrap.

  • Genuine D Consumer - 2010-11-05 18:15

    Read the Sunday Tribune of 12/09/2010. Headline = Label Wars NO piece of cake. Yes I am the 1ST AND ONLY complainant EVER taking Legal Action against the Mega Food Corporations and Food and Beverage Industry as a whole. Including the DOH and DAFF. This is civil and criminal and at a advanced stage. This regarding the LIES.DECEPTION,MIS LEADING ADVERTISING ADVERTISING,MARKETING,DISTRIBUTION AND SALE of IMITATION DAIRY PRODUCTS THAT ARE NOT GENUINE DAIRY PRODUCTS WHATSOEVER / HOWSOEVER. THE HORRENDOUS TRUTH IS THESE VARIOUS HORRENDOUS IMITATION PRODUCTS WILL SEND YOU TO THE GRAVE LONG BEFORE ANY DAIRY PRODUCT WILL. I HAVE DONE THE EXTENSIVE AND INTENSIVE RESEARCH AND THE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS CONCERNED HAVE ADMITTED I AM CORRECT. THE RETAILERS AND F&B INDUSTRY HAVE ADMITTED GUILT AND HAVE INDICATED THEY HAVE SOLD IMITATION DAIRY PRODUCTS FOR DECADES NOT JUST MONTHS AND YEARS. THE DOH AND DAFF HAVE ADMITTED THEY HAVE NEVER BOTHERED TO CHECK ON THESE ENTITIES. YOU WANTED TO KNOW WHO IS INVOLVED. WELL I,LL NAME A FEW TO WET YOUR RESPECTIVE APPETITES.ITS SHOPRITE CHECKERS,PICK N PAY, SPAR, WOOLWORTHS,FAMILY GROCER STORES AND MANY MORE. HOTEL GROUPS INVOLVED ARE SUN INTERNATIONAL, SOUTHERN SUN, 3 CITIES GROUP AND MANY MORE.OTHER INDUSTRIES INVOLVED BPSA,ENGEN,TOTAL,SHELL AND THE LIST IS ENDLESS INCLUDING MANY OF YOUR FAVORITE RESTUARANT GROUPS. SO NEXT TIME YOU THINK YOU EATING GENUINE DAIRY CREAM OR BUTTER CREAM YOU ARE MORE THAN LIKELY NOTTTTTT!!!! UNLESS YOU BOUGHT IT YOURSELF IN A SEALED CARTON STATING ITS FRESH CREAM,ETC. FROM A REPUTABLE DAIRY. WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN EATING IS NOTHING BUT PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OR HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE FATS /OILS AND A HOST OF HORRENDOUS CHEMICLES AND ADDITIVES. THESE THAT HAVE HORRENDOUS AND DIREEEEEEEEE HEALTH CONCERNS AND ISSUES. PRODUCTS EITHER BANNED OR HIGHLY CONTROLLED IN ALL 1ST WORLD COUNTRIES FOR DECADES. THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION HAS BEGGED AND PLEADED WITH COUNTRIES TO OUTLAW THIS MAN MADE HORRENDOUS SUBSTANCE FOR DECADES AS WELL. NOT TO MENTION EVERY HEALTH ORGANISATION IN THE WORLD HAS CONDEMNED IT TOO. ARE THERE REGULATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA????? NOOOOOOO THERE IS NOTTTTT!!!!!! ARE THERE MORALS AND ETHICS AND TRUTHS AND RESPECT IN THE FODD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE????? OBVIOUSLY NOTTTTTTTTTTT,CAUSE THEY WONT STOP THE ABUSE OF THE CUSTOMER. WELL I WILL STOP THEM AND THEY KNOW IT. MY CRUSADE CONTINUES AND WILL SOON BE MADE PUBLIC IN FULL. TRUTH AND JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL AND TO ALL INVOLVED. YOUR LIES, DECEIT, FRAUD,CORRUPTION,COLLUSION WILL BE EXPOSED AND YOU WILL STAND ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR GREED AND ABUSE.

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