(www.kaieteurnewsonline.com) While the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department, (GA-FDD) continues efforts to counteract the incidence of bogus products on the local market, authorized distributor Ansa McAl Trading Limited, is upping the ante to raise awareness about the dangers which accompany using counterfeit commodities.
Earlier this month, GA-FDD issued an alert to warn consumers about a line of counterfeit beauty products, which included Head and Shoulders Shampoo and Conditioner; Pantene Pro V Shampoo and Conditioner, and Oil of Olay aging creams.
Ansa McAl is an authorized distributor for the overseas-based company, Procter and Gamble, of which the products are manufactured.
Following a complaint by the distribution giant, officials of GA-FDD seized and destroyed a number of the counterfeit beauty products, which were found on the shelves of city retailers. GA-FDD also warned that legal action will be taken against vendors of counterfeit products.
During a press conference at the company’s Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara Headquarters yesterday, Ansa McAl officials disclosed that further tests conducted on samples of each of the products proved that the items lacked the requisite active ingredients for which the Procter and Gamble merchandise are known.
As such, Ansa McAl’s Managing Director, Beverly Harper, noted that the company is determined to raise awareness by educating consumers about the dangers of using counterfeit merchandise.
“Ansa McAl would like to express its concerns about the increasing presence of counterfeit goods in the Guyana market; this we feel not only has serious consequences for our company but for our customers who could be adversely affected by using these products.
“What is most distributing is that there are those who manufacture and distribute counterfeit goods/ drugs without reservation; this shows that apart from ignoring the health risk they are defrauding consumers as well as preventing consumers from receiving safe, effective products that were supposed to help them, whether it be pharmaceuticals to improve their health or shampoo to keep their hair clean,” Ms. Harper added as she noted that the company will be teaming up with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Government Analyst Food and Drug Department to assist in curtailing the sale of such items.
“We are asking the public to take charge and report counterfeit products to the relevant authorities such as GRA and GA-FDD and to us, if you buy any imitation of our brands.”
According to Harper, Ansa McAl Trading Limited is the authorized distributor, for Procter & Gamble, Heineken, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Alcon, and Grace Kennedy amongst many others, with brands such as Olay, Head & Shoulders, Pringles, Monster Energy Drink, Ariel soap powder, Tropical Rhythms, Bumble Bee, Sqezy, Panadol, and Andrews.
Harper also stated that it is important to note that counterfeit products often remain with these ‘importers’ longer than is recommended and when the products become aged and expire, these products with questionable ingredients are sold to unsuspecting consumers at a heavily discounted price.
“We can only guarantee quality, freshness and the integrity of the products and brands we represent…We are asking the public to take charge and report instances of counterfeit items. We have to work together to address the problem and threat of counterfeit products,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Food and Drug Analyst Department joined 111 countries in an international week of action titled ‘Operation PANGEA’, targeting the online sale of counterfeit and illegal medicines. During the first phase of Operation PANGEA’, 9,482,646 units of potentially dangerous medication were seized.