Dye-free certificates to be given out at Zay Cho market
CERTIFICATES will be distributed to deserving shops in Zay Cho market in an effort toward a chemical dye-free market by the end of this year, said an official of Mandalay City Development Committee.
“To be able to label Zay Cho market a dye-free place, we are inspecting every shop three times before giving them the certificate stating that they comply with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and MCDC’s standards,” U Kyaw San Myint, committee member of MCDC told The Myanmar Times.
“If the shops are dye-free for all three inspections, we will give them a card. But we will continuously keep examining them. If we find dyes, we will revoke the cards,” he added.
The initiative to award dye-free recommendation cards was submitted to the mayor, who is also the minister for Municipal Affairs and will also be presented at the meeting of the region government and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U Kyaw San Myint said.
Compared with the first eight months of the previous year, shops within Mandalay markets selling food and other products containing banned dyes and chemicals have been reduced to half due to inspections and prosecutions carried out against shop owners, according to the statistics from the FDA Mandalay.
In August 2016, 353 out of 1223 items sampled had traces of illegal dyes and chemicals. In august 2017 out of 1222 items taken for examination, only 193 contained restricted colourings, According to the statistics.
“The amount of dyes is obviously less than the previous year. We are aiming for a dye-free market in Zay Cho this year. If Zay Cho abides by the restriction, other markets will follow. We will give dye-free certificates to the shops for consumers’ protection. The cards have already been designed. They will be granted after examining the goods,” said U Kyaw Kyaw, deputy director of FDA in Mandalay.
The food shop owners of Zay Cho welcome the dye-free certificates, they said.
“We are happy because we can sell dye-free materials. We can trade freely. We were selling products worrying they would contain forbidden components in the past. The card will benefit both consumers and merchants,” said a chilli powder shop owner from Zay Cho 28th street.
“People like red or yellow bamboo shoots in the past. Now, awareness programs are being carried out. Thus, they do not buy coloured bamboo shoots anymore and merchants stop selling those. They buy and eat fish paste and chilli powder with natural colouring instead,” said Daw Thandar Htwe from Aung Myay Tharzan.
During the adjustment period, tests were conducted repeatedly which led many shops using forbidden components to close down, said U Zayar Nyein, head of market department, MCDC.