18 retailers fined for selling expired products

21 Jan, 2024 - 00:01 0 Views
18 retailers fined for selling expired products

The Sunday Mail

Nokuthula Dube

Eighteen retail outlets were last year fined for selling expired goods in contravention of the Consumer Protection Act.

The Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) undertook a nationwide blitz targeting shops selling expired and substandard products between April and December last year.

One retailer was fined US$3 000 after being found selling baby products that had expired in 2015, posing a risk to public health.

The CPC has cited retailers Food World, Gains Cash and Carry and Bismilar Investment as the major culprits.

Section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act prohibits suppliers from selling or marketing goods that do not conform to mandatory safety and quality standards.

In an interview CPC research and public affairs manager Mr Kudakwashe Mudereri said: “In line with the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, which requires the commission to enforce consumer rights through its inspectors, compliance officers and investigators have been carrying out enforcement blitz throughout the country, working with other law enforcement agents and other key stakeholders.”

The blitz, he said, targeted shops selling expired and substandard products that compromise “the general citizenry’s health and general wellbeing.”

“From April to December 2023, the Consumer Protection Commission prosecuted 18 companies for selling expired products.

“What is more worrying to the commission is that one of the shops caught and prosecuted for selling expired products was selling baby products, which expired as far as 2015, thereby destroying the future of the country.

“Given the severity of the case, the shop was prosecuted at the High Court and made to pay a fine of US$3 000.”

Mr Mudereri said the commission will account for all perpetrators.

“The commission will work with other enforcement agents and regulators whose laws allow them to revoke trading licenses for those who continue to flout provisions of the law,” he said.

He added: “Consumers are protected by law which gives them the right to receive goods or services that are safe and free from defects and hazards.

“Any consumer, who has the right to health and safety as prescribed by the Consumer Protection Act can return goods to the supplier if the goods are not safe or have defects.”

Section 42 of the Consumer Protection Act, added Mr Mudereri, which outlawed “disclaimer clauses” by prohibiting suppliers from displaying notices that purport to disclaim any liability including “No Refund, No Returns and No Exchanges” notices.

“Furthermore, Section 51 (1a) and (2) requires suppliers of goods and services to take necessary and appropriate measures to provide fair value, good quality and safe products to consumers.

“It is in this spirit that suppliers are prohibited from selling expired products, where any supplier or trader who contravenes this legal requirement shall be guilty of an offence and liable for prosecution,” he said.

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