Labelling requirements to be enforced strictlyManufacturers of edible products will be required to disclose the ingredients and nutritional information on the label as per the government’s policies and programmes unveiled last Sunday.
Manufacturers of edible products will be required to disclose the ingredients and nutritional information on the label as per the government’s policies and programmes unveiled last Sunday.
A legal provision requiring complete disclosure of the maximum retail price, manufacturing and expiry dates, the raw materials used and nutritional values on packets of food items will be implemented to protect consumer rights.
However, stakeholders said that the law related to labelling and packaging is already in effect.
They said that the government has to monitor to make the system more effective.
“The government should shift its focus to preventing artificial shortages and syndicates to ensure a fair and competitive market,” said Madhav Timalsina, chairman of the Consumer Rights Investigation Forum. “The authorities should focus on implementing the system rather than piling up paperwork.” According to Timalsina, fraudulent pricing, transportation syndicates, illegal import of medicines and sales of low quality essentials have been rampant for a long time. “Such issues should be monitored by the Supply Management and Consumer Rights Protection Department, but it has not been able to do so, depriving consumers of their rights.” Consumer Protection Act 1998 says manufacturers should disclose the producer’s name, address, price, batch number, manufacturing and expiry dates on the label. But the authorities have not been able to take any action against recurring violations. At present, there are nearly 33 laws designed to protect consumer rights.
Despite market monitoring, the authorities have not brought black marketeers under the legal net,” said Jyoti Baniya, president of the Consumer Rights Welfare Forum. “With regard to labelling, many manufacturers have not followed standard procedures while marketing their products.”
According to Baniya, lack of budget has always hindered effective market monitoring. “We hope there will enough budget to address monitoring concerns from the next fiscal year,” said Baniya.
“We carry out monitoring of essentials and labels on a daily basis. We thoroughly check the prices and dates on the labels,” said Laxman Shrestha, head of the monitoring unit of the Department of Supply Management and Consumer Protection.
“Domestic manufacturers have abided by the rules, but a number of imported products do not have proper labels.”
According to Shrestha, the department verifies the manufacturer’s name, address, prices and expiry dates of the products while monitoring business practices.
A legal provision requiring complete disclosure of the maximum retail price, manufacturing and expiry dates, the raw materials used and nutritional values on packets of food items will be implemented to protect consumer rights