Product still on the shelves of local supermarkets
GA-FDD’s recall of LAILAC infant milk
The International Pharmaceutical Agency (IPA) Guyana Ltd is ignoring a recall issued by the Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) for LILAC Infant Milk.
IPA is the local distributor of LAILAC Infant Milk. It insists that although the product does not comply with the GA-FDD’s substantive standards to be defined as infant milk, nor with its procedural requirements to be imported into the country, the product should be available for sale to the public.
The GA-FDD, in early February 2016, issued a recall for the product.
When Guyana Times visited several supermarkets on Wednesday, more than six weeks after the recall deadline of March 22, 2016, the product was on the shelves. The IPA has persistently disregarded the GA-FDD’s instructions contending that LAILAC Infant Milk is a milk-based baby formula.
It was also reported that LAILAC Infant Milk is still being sold at retail and wholesale entities in and around Georgetown.
The GA-FDD issued the recall on two grounds – the product’s noncompliance with Food and Drug Regulation (12) of 1977, which prohibits distributing a product in Guyana that is not distributed in its country of origin. The IPA has admitted its LAILAC product was not sold in France, the country of origin but only in the Third World. The IPA continues to argue that the product is being distributed in France, but under a different brand.
The company said that LAILAC was a regional brand name for products manufactured by the French Company Nutribio for the African, Caribbean and Middle Eastern markets.
The IPA also argued that the product LAILAC Milk is distributed in France under the name NUTRILAC. This publication also checked a number of retailers of infant milk in France, but none of them have LAILAC as a product on sale locally
GA-FDD Director Marlon Cole was quoted in other sections of the media as saying that LAILAC was not and could not possibly be sold in France as milk.
“Our regulations clearly state that the product must be free distributed in the country of production. That product is not sold in France. No other Caribbean country has LAILAC Milk. It is not milk,” he was quoted as saying.
Cole has based his conclusion on a reading of the product’s label which shows that the product is labelled infant milk although in the production process vegetable oils were used to replace milk fat.
This is the second ground on which the GA-FDD based its recall order.
According to the GA-FDD, in making the product as close as possible to “mother’s milk”, some vegetable oils were added to the cow milk-based substance. When digested by infants, the formula can prove to be dangerous since the fatty acids in the triglycerides produced influence their function negatively.