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Food and Drug Department Unable to Justify Unlawful Seizure of Brazilian Products, Refuses to Return Same

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First Published: 3rd of August, 2021

Last updated: August 3, 2021 at 12:48 pm

This publication called the Food and Drug Department on several occasions and asked them to justify from the Law their actions of seizing 4 million dollars worth of Brazilian Products from the home of small business owner, Mr. Annandram Persaud. The staff to whom we spoke said they were unable or unwilling to do so. We also spoke to the director, Mr. Marlan Cole, on 222 8856 who also said he is either unable or unwilling to justify the actions of the Food and Drug Department from the Law. At the same time, he has refused a request to return the products. As such, the matter is presently being investigated by the Police and a court action is being pursued by the businessman.

According to the Regulations Made Under the Food and Drugs Act (Cap: 34:03), there are only four requirements for the label on cosmetics, specifically colognes:

  1. the name of the manufacturer or distributor of the cosmetic and the address of his principal place of business.
  2. The batch number
  3.  the identity of the cosmetic in terms of its common or generic name or in terms of its function, unless the identity is obvious
  4. The net contents in milliliters.

Click here to read the Regulations Made Under the Food and Drug Acts.

Nowhere in the Regulations does it specify that this information needs to be in English. However, even if the information needs to be in English, there is no way to translate the name and address of a manufacturer, the batch number and the net contents in milliliters.

Over 90% of the products seized in this unlawful, blatant, and incendiary operation were 100 ml perfumes, the function of which is obvious. The law states that if the quantity of the perfume is less than 114 ml, then there is no need to state the net contents in milliliters. The function of a perfume or cologne is obvious, therefore, according to the laws of Guyana, the only requirements for perfumes or colognes under 114 ml are:

  1. The name and address of the manufacturer.
  2. The Batch number.

As you can see from the example photos below, these products fulfill all the legal requirements for being sold in Guyana as it contains the information on the label.

Further, these products were imported legally into the country at Lethem, Region 9 using an import license and all import taxes were paid on them.

On the 16th of June, 2021, four officials from the Food and Drugs Department arrived at the home of small business owner, Mr. Annandram Persaud, and seized 4 million dollars worth of Brazilian perfumes and perfumed products on the basis that they were not labeled in English. The officials showed badges and identified themselves as Carol Edwards, Triston Jones, Jennel Rodney, and Suzanna Atkins.

The Food and Drugs Department has refused to respond to emails asking them to justify their actions from the law or return the products. This morning, calls to all numbers at the Food and Drugs Department went unanswered, except for one where someone picked up, said they are unable to talk about the matter and hung up abruptly.

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