CUTS seeks information on govt action against Zambeef

CONSUMER rights body, CUTS International, is seeking government’s explanation on what penalties or fines have been slapped on Zambeef for importing contaminated beef products.

Tests carried out in South African laboratories mid this year, sanctioned by the Ministry of Health, confirmed imported Zambeef products, mainly offals and hooves, contained formaldehyde.

Health minister, Joseph Kasonde, told The Post in an interview on June 1 that the government was considering legal action against Zambeef, adding that what the country’s biggest agricultural producer had done was criminal.

But Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) has sought information on the punishment taken by the government.

According to a letter to the Ministry of Health dated December 3, CUTS stated that it was unclear whether Zambeef was pardoned or fined for breaching the consumer protection legal framework which exists in Zambia.

“We believe it will be in the best interest of the consumers to know what the ministry has done after the investigations were concluded,” CUTS’ letter read in part.

“We believe subjecting unsuspecting consumers to harmful products or services that have a health risk remains a perilous act that should be remedied by imposing necessary penalties as provided by law.”

The food producer said it had ceased further imports of beef products, and will now focus on its core domestic market.

Last month, Zambeef, in a financial report, stated that its sales and profits for the year ended September 30 were hit by “allegations” that it was importing contaminated beef products.”

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