The Star (Nairobi)

3 August 2014

Kenya: Spirit Distillers Challenge New KEBs Directives

THE Association of Spirit Manufacturers of Kenya have moved to court to challenge new directives on the use of methanol and ethanol in drinks.

In documents filed in court, ASMK has accused the Kenya Bureau of Standards of acting on impulse claiming they had all complied with gazetted standards for the manufacture of spirits.

They said they should not be coerced to implement directives without being consulted.

"The decision by Kebs to review existing alcohol manufacturing standards is unreasonable. It is abrupt and without regard of the law and laid-down procedures," said Kabugu Muguku, the lawyer representing the distillers.

Under the new directive by Kebs, manufacturers must demonstrate the presence of a laboratory that can test both qualitative and quantitative composition of alcohol, especially methanol and ethanol.

The directives are meant to curb the manufacture and sale of illicit brews.

Records of completed tests must be maintained to demonstrate that they are complying with the rules.

The manufacturers must also have on their staff a person qualified in food and safety analysis.

They said the "unreasonable decision" is a review of the manufacturing standards for alcoholic drinks, which, according to the Kebs's order, "should not be sold unless the new directives are met."

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