FAMA To Label And Grade Vegetables And Fruits

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 (Bernama) -- Consumers have plenty to cheer about as they would soon be able to get real value for their ringgit when they purchase vegetables or fruits.

This follows soon-to-be implemented regulations where vegetable and fruit wholesalers and importers would be compelled to grade, pack and label their products according to international standards.

In disclosing this today, Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) Director-General Datuk Mohamed Shariff Abdul Aziz said although the regulations took effect immediately, it would nevertheless be fully implemented at the end of the year.

This, he said, was to give sufficient time and notice to those involved to comply with the new regulations.

Speaking to Bernama on the sidelines of the Developing Eight (D8) Ministers Meeting on Food Security conference here, Mohamed Shariff said the label should not be less than 11cm by 7cm and shall contain the name and business address of the importer, exporter, agent, producer or distributor.

The label could either be in Bahasa Malaysia or English and should also clearly indicate the name of the product, the grade, size, country of origin, weight.

The maximum fine for false or misleading label is RM 1000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both, he said.

With the regulations in place, FAMA, the authority entrused to implement the regulations, would ensure that no sub-standard fruits or vegetables were imported into the country and none were sold in supermarkets or even at regular wet markets.

"We can confidently assure consumers that they would get quality products worth their money," Mohamed Shariff said.

In an immediate reponse, the Malaysian Federation of Consumers Association (FOMCA) welcomed the move which it said was long overdue.

Its chief executive Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman said with the regulations, consumers could now confidently shop knowing the contents and quality of the products.

However, Mohd Yusof hoped that the new ruling would not cause the price of the products to be unduly raised.

"The regulations required the label to state the country of origin, and this is important as consumers could avoid products from countries that were known to use excessive pesticide or melamine," he said.



2009 BERNAMA. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Security Policy
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any form except with the prior written permission of BERNAMA.
Best viewed in Firefox 3.0 & Internet Explorer 7.0 with 1024 x 768 resolution