Foreign dairy producers seem to regard South Africa as a soft target for dodgy products, managing director of the Milk Producers' Organisation Etienne Terre'Blanché, said.
He was speaking after the MPO released a statement detailing
successes in blocking illegal imports in the past eight months. The organisation said monitoring service Agri Inspec, which had a desk specialising in dairy issues, had been focusing on products where labels or packaging did not comply with local standards.
These successes include the seizure of a consignment of baby
formula, and milk drinks for older babies. The load, shipped from Korea, was confiscated in Durban harbour due to non-compliance with local packaging requirements.
In the wake of the Chinese melamine scare, Agri Inspec's agents also impounded a shipment of imported casein powder that tested positive for the substance.
SA seen as 'soft target'
Butter imported from the USA at the relatively low price of R33.80 per kilogramme, was seized when it did not comply with local minimum quality standards.
A consignment of evaporated and condensed milk imported from Singapore was confiscated because it did not comply with labelling laws. The products contained vegetable fats and oils.
Terre'Blanché said that the past six to eight months had seen
an increase in the number of people trying to offload dodgy dairy
products on South African consumers. They saw South Africa as a soft target.
One of the major issues was the country's capacity to monitor
imports at its ports and borders. "It used to be much more strict," he said. His organisation was involved in training officials at border posts on how to detect illegal dairy imports. – (Sapa, February 2009)
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