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Senators summon Kebs officials over cooking oil, fat sale suspension

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022 07:00 | By
Cooking oils and fats on display at a spermarket shelf. PD/FILE

Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) officials are set to face senators over the ‘abrupt’ suspension of 10 brands of edible oil and cooking fat from the market.

The Senate Health committee chaired by Uasin Gishu senator Jackson Mandago is set to invite acting managing director Esther Ngari to explain their sudden action.

Last month, the standards agency recalled the brands from the shops, triggering protests from retailers who were forced to incur huge losses after the suspension of the products.

The lawmakers led by Samson Cherargei (Nandi) are now demanding answers from the agency’s management on why they suspended the brands without giving notice to the manufacturers.

“Kebs should explain the order for the recall of edible oil products from several manufacturers of over 10 brands that were already on shopping,” said Cherargei.

Standard breach

In a statement tabled before the House, Cherargei wants Kebs to explain the extent to which each of the products breached set standards and to state the stage at which the agency discovered the products were substandard.

 “They must tell us whether there is anything they are doing to compensate retailers by their action,” insisted Cherargei.

Ngari will outline to the senators the process of standardization of products, especially oil products. This will be in reference to the standards specification requirements to be met in all fortified oil and fats, given that the said products are sensitive and are consumed by the public.

“Kebs should state the measures if any, that it has put in place to facilitate the protection of consumers from potentially unsafe products and to safeguard the economic interests of manufacturers,” said Cherargei.

Cherargei also wants the agency to state the measures if any, that Kebs has put in place to facilitate the protection of consumers through the Federation of Protection of Consumers and Competition Authority of Kenya from potentially unsafe products specifically edible oil products and other consumable products and to safeguard the economic interest of manufacturers.

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