The Star (Nairobi)

20 October 2012

Kenya: Consumers Warned On Food Additives

Photo: Siegfried Modola/IRIN
A Nairobi City Market trader displays his produce.

THE Consumer Federation of Kenya has called upon Kenyans to be wary of the food they consume in the wake of fears that certain foodstuff additives may be a health safety threat.

The federation's secretary general Stephen Mutoro said yesterday during a consumer's dialogue forum that consumers need protection from manufacturers who often hide the truth about risk in their products.

During the forum, members of the public accused the government of failing to protect them from multinational companies who have been accused of manufacturing risky products.

Members of the public raised concern over GMO foods and on the debate on whether Coke causes cancer calling on the government to be clear on the issue.

Mutoro however said the writing on the adverse effect of the soft drinks and other foodstuff were on the label of the said products and all they needed to do was to know the effect of substances used as preservatives and additives.

Researchers and medical experts revealed that some substances used in colouring especially in soft drinks can cause cancer but if only used beyond some level which manufacturers should be able to display on the label.

Mutoro said there was complexity on enforcing the law on usage of some product due to effects of advertisement by the manufacturers which consumers take as gospel truth.

He said the federation has launched a countrywide campaign to raise consumer awareness on food additives to ensure that consumers are well informed and make informed choices when purchasing goods and products.

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