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Star, June 13, 1999

Dairy product traders
agree to yank ads

PETALING JAYA: Dairy product manufacturers and importers have agreed to withdraw advertisements assuring consumers that their products are not tainted with dioxin.

They have, however, appealed to the Health Ministry to help clear the confusion among consumers.

Nestle Products Sdn Bhd corporate affairs manager Tengku Marina Badlishah said yesterday the company would comply with the ministry's directive to withdraw notices of assurance to consumers placed in the newspapers.

However, she said many consumers were still confused about European products temporarily banned by the Government and were unable to identify the affected products.

"We hope the Government will help us clear the confusion surrounding our products," she said.

She said all Nestle products carried the identification Societe des Produits Nestle S.A. Vevey, Switzerland and this might confuse consumers and enforcement officers into thinking the products were all from Switzerland.

Other dairy product manufacturers and importers also said that they would abide by the Health Ministry directive on Friday to withdraw notices assuring consumers that their products were safe.

Its deputy director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Mahmood said the assurances issued through the mass media were confusing consumers, adding that only the ministry could give the assurances.

Nestle, F&N Dairies (M) Sdn Bhd, Dutch Baby Milk Industries (Malaya) Bhd, Unilever Malaysia and several other dairy product manufacturers and importers have placed advertisements in the past few days assuring consumers about the safety of their products.

The advertisements were placed after the Government decided to remove a variety of European food products from the market on June 8 as a precautionary measure in view of the Belgian dioxin scare.

Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) executive director Peter Jenkins said he could not see how the advertisements placed by dairy products manufacturers and importers could confuse consumers.

"We have not received the directive yet but we will inform our members about it," he said, adding that MICCI would abide by the directive.

Fomca president Datuk Hamdan Adnan said the Government should play a bigger role to inform consumers about affected products.

"I sympathise with the manufacturers and importers because they wanted to inform consumers that their products are safe and not all dairy products are tainted," he said.

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