Government Suspends Sale of Multiple Dairy ProductsBy Jan Hogewoning | Thu, 10/15/2020 - 17:51
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Economy and the Federal Consumer Prosecutor's Office (Profeco) announced the suspension of sales of a range of brands of yoghurt and cheese, which they claim have failed to comply with several Official Mexican Standards established by the Quality Infrastructure Law. More specifically, the Ministry pointed to non-compliance to the Official Cheese Standard NOM-223-SCFI / SAGARPA-2018, as well as NOM-002-SCFI-2011 on net content-tolerances and verification methods and NOM-051-SCFI / SSA1-2010. These standards are part of the general labeling specifications for prepackaged food and nonalcoholic beverages. This suggests the motive of the suspension is the inadequate labeling of the products.
After having spread confusion about the scale of the ban, the ministry clarified that there were only 23 different products of cheese that had in fact been suspended. This includes products manufactured by the brands Fud, Nochebuena, Premier Plus Cuadritos, Zwan, Caperucita, Burr, Precissimo, Frankly, Selecto Brand (part of Chedraui), Galbani, Lala, El Parral, Portales, Walter, Sargento, Cremería Covadonga, Aurrera and Philadelphia. In the case of yoghurts, the brands that have been suspended are Danone BeneGastro and Danone Natural. Authorities also announced that the manufacturers would be fined.
In response to the suspension, Mondelez, producer of Philadelphia, stated that the ban on their product was unfounded. It also clarified, however, that it is not Philadelphia cream cheese which has been subject to the ban but its Philadelphia American cheese products. In separate statements, dairy giants Lala and Danone stated that labeling on their products had already been corrected to meet the norm.
In his morning press conference today, President López Obrador defended the suspension. “The purpose is not to harm companies. We just have to take care of the health of the people. There is a great deal of fraud,” he said. He also explained that some adulterated chemicals are used to manufacture dairy products.
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