Myanmar’s Department of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that the labelling requirements for local food products will be delayed by three months.
FDA Director General Than Htut said that this extension will give food manufacturing companies more time to register their products while also preparing themselves to meet the requirements set by his department, the Myanmar Times reported on Tuesday.
On April 1, the FDA met with a representative from the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and local food manufacturers in Yangon to discuss issues and problems that they faced when the announcement of the new requirements was made.
“We decided on a three-month extension to enable our food manufacturers more time to prepare themselves and their companies for this new requirement by the FDA. All parties concerned agreed to the extension. Stern action will be taken against companies that do not observe the new guidelines at the end of this grace period,” Dr Than Htut was quoted as saying.
He added that the reason why this new requirement was mandatory is to ensure that all food products are of the best quality and safe for consumption. The Ministry of Industry and the City Development Committee has been authorised by the FDA to approve the license registration for all food products.
Aung Shwe, a local food manufacturer who owns an oil mill, agreed that manufacturers should label their products.
“I think three months is a decent amount of time to get ourselves ready for this new requirement. We should label our products according to the law,” Aung Shwe said.
Dr Than Htut went on to say that when the FDA implemented the survey about the importance of labelling food products, the results showed that some manufacturers did actually label their products.
“We found that some manufacturers have labels on their products, some don’t and others are still trying to adhere to the requirement.”
The results from the pre-market and post-market surveillance for food products have been encouraging. As such, the department has planned to accelerate its activities.
“We will accelerate post-market surveillance to control low risk products in the market,” Dr Than Htut said.
On March 8, the FDA announced that due to safety reasons, all local food manufacturers will have to label their products by the end of that month. Among the requirements were the address of the manufacturer/factory, telephone number, the manufacturing and expiry dates, FDA registration number, production number, and product license.
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