− vows to appeal rulingFollowing its seizure of a number of supposedly fake evaporated milk products in October of last year, the Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GAFDD) lost its court case as the matter was dismissed by presiding Magistrate Annette Singh.In Court 11 of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday, Magistrate Singh ruled that there was not enough evidence to validate the determination that the milk was indeed substandard and non-compliant with the stipulations of the GAFDD.This ruling did not sit well with GAFDD’s Director Marlan Cole as he signalled his organisation’s intention to appeal the case. Cole in court expressed the view that the threat which the product posed on persons’ health was not considered. He however conceded that his officers need to be more equipped with the necessary training in bringing matters of such nature to court.Cole opined that the GAFDD will be hindered in executing its mandate to ensure that food products which can be “injurious to public health,” misleading and/or deceptive would not be available on the market. The director also pointed out that the label on the evaporated milk cannot show a pictorial representation of a cow and it must carry a disclaimer which says: “Not suitable for children under two years.”In October 2015, the GAFDD has issued a warning to the public, against the sale and purchase of what it described as misleading brands of evaporated milk and evaporated filled milk that were being sold at local markets.Coupled with the warning, the department had also seized 909 cans of the said fake milk products which had included: Promex Milko Evaporated Filled Milk, Tinny Evaporated Filled Milk, Rosa Evaporated Filled Milk, GIV Evaporated Milk, Grace Filled Evaporated Milk, Big J Evaporated Milk and Red and White Evaporated Milk.Evaporated milk is a milk, or milk product which is constituted from animal source from which 60% of water has been evaporated, and contains not less than 25% of milk solids and 7.5% milk fat, and may carry a pictorial representation of a cow, while Evaporated Filled Milk is a prepared blend of skim milk, vegetable oil, stabilisers and vitamins.At that time it was observed that in some cases, the content of milk fat which was declared on the label was only three per cent and the cans bore no disclaimer but included a pictorial representation of a cow, which the department said should be removed. It is not yet clear when the department will appeal Magistrate Singh’s ruling.
The controversial distribution of US$ 100,000 Ebola Funds allotted from the Nimba County Development Funds to fight Ebola has backfired, with Gbi and Dorlu Administration District Commissioner David Toe saying he had not received a cent from the Administration of Nimba County, headed by Supt. Fong Zuagele.Commissioner David Toe on Radio Kehgheamahn Breakfast show on 6th October, 2014 said his district’s share of money to enable them to carry on awareness is yet to be delivered.All efforts to get his share have proven futile and the only reason given him is the allotted share for his district was spent on other Ebola issues in Karnplay.At the time of the distribution of the said funds, he said, he was on an awareness trip in his district distributing buckets and other preventive materials to the citizens.“At the time the stakeholders were meeting in Sanniquellie, I was on a trip distributing buckets and I didn’t hear the story, but when I got the info and went to Sanniquellie, the County Inspector, Reginald Mehn, told me that my share of the money was used to bury Ebola victim in Karnplay,” he said.“All the money I have been using for Ebola in my district came from my pocket; I have not received any money from the county as it was announced,” Commissioner Toe stated.Nimba leadership has been at loggerheads over how the US$ 100,000 allotted to fight Ebola in Nimba was used.The Nimba Lawmakers of the 53rd National Legislature had repeatedly said that the money was intended to purchase PPE and sufficient medical drugs for all health centers in Nimba, but instead, the county leadership headed by Supt. Fong Zuagele divided portions of the money among the 17 administration commissioners, city mayors, and media, while the some of the money was used to procure motorcycles for the awareness campaign in the county.The diversion of the funds from the expectation of the caucus brought great dissatisfaction among them, something they considered as disrespect.This crisis and other issues led the Lower House of Parliament to summon Superintendent Fong Zuagele and Development Superintendent Teeko Yorlay for an inquest. As a result; the plenary imposed a “vote of no confidence” in the two county officials.However, in counter reaction to Commissioner David Toe’s claim on the same media 6th October 2014, Nimba County Inspector Reginald Mehn said the Commissioner was left out, because he was at the special county council sitting to endorse the usage of the money so what was allotted for them was diverted to other area of need, precisely in Gbehlay Geh/Karnplay). It appears as though Gbi and Dorlu were not the only districts left out; Kparblee was another district believed not to have received any share of the Ebola Fund, Mr. Toe said. Gbi and Dorlu is one of the remotest districts in Nimba, located at the southern part of Nimba bordering Sinoe, Rivercess, and Grand Bassa counties. But this district had been complaining bitterly of marginalization from the county administration from developments and other opportunities. This has led them to seek legislation to join Rivercess County.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)