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We Either Survive or Die(part I)

30.01.2007
camlebi.gif“Prohibited”, “causes cancer”, “dangerous”, “causes high blood pressure”, “suspicious” and “poisonous”-these are the words from the conclusion of the research carried out on the numerous food products from the Georgian market. The reason is simple-there is no corresponding body to control the products in our markets. We should only rely on the entrepreneurs’ dignity while eating the food they produce.

Although there is legislation which envisages the customers’ rights, researches ended with unsatisfactory results. The law remains written on the paper and the health of the population is doomed to be sacrificed because of harmful products.

What do we eat? What do we drink?

The union “XXI Century” carried out researches on fifty items of food products and only 6% out of them met the demands.  The experts admit that there is a great problem with the food we eat and they except the population to start protest.

Seven kinds of tea were tested during monitoring of the market; these kinds of tea dominate the Georgian market. Only three out of those seven met the demands; those were “Baih Tea”, ‘Mariami”, disposable teas of “Mariami’ and “Azerchai”. As for the other four kinds of tea, “Black Mahmud Tea”, Chinese green Baih Tea, Chinese tea “Princess Iava” and pure Ceylon tea, do not meet the standards. 

Besides tea, there are some other food products that do not meet the standards. They are the following: bacon from the Mikoian’s Meat Factory in Russia; half-smoked high quality sausage ‘Piquant’ from Armenia; half-smoked second quality sausage “Ordered in Sochi”, from the meat factory in Sochi, Russia; tomatoes without skin, produced by the Konko Company in Greece; milk chocolate “Nesquick”; Russian double chocolate-black and white from the Bakers Union Ltd from Russia; chocolate ‘Nesquick’ from Nestle; high quality butter “Tolia” produced by Kartuuniversali Ltd; ecologically pure butter produced by ‘Georgia Ltd’; butter “Soflis Nobati”; Chewing gums: “Orbit White” with mint; “Orbit” with strawberry and  mint; ‘Orbit White’ Classic and various kinds of ‘Orbit” chewing gum; “Wrigley Spearmint” with mint; “Wrigley Double Mint” , ‘Stimorol”, “Healthy” and sugar-free fresh chewing sweets with cherry; “Dirol” and “Bolognese”, produced by Dresden in Germany; “SPECK” produced either by Holland or Germany which causes cancer. Besides that, other tested products did not have Georgian label.

According to organizers of the research, the next stage in their activities will be a survey in the whole Caucasian region. However, currently, they only speak about the problems which are in the Georgian market.

Shalva Melkadze, representative of the XXI Century Union said that prior to the survey they studied the legislation regarding the problem. We found out that nutrition problem is regulated under the law. 

The research covered Tbilisi, Marneuli and Rustavi based markets, shopping centers and supermarkets. The result was not satisfactory. “The main violations we have discovered are the sale conditions, labels and lack of quality documents. There is a terrible mess in every market in Tbilisi. Thus the law on ‘Selling of food products’ is violated. The food is not kept in fridges and traders sell them straight from the stalls where insects can easily litter the food, etc. Our main goal was to introduce the people with the problem. Some measures are urgent to be taken. Unless the government protects the customers’ rights, there is no other institution that is in power to do the job. However, there are some normative reports giving information how the food products must be reserved. These norms are not followed at all,” said Melkadze.

The problem is graved by the lack of corresponding institution which will be in charge of observing the situation. More precisely, there is some nonsense regarding the problem. The Agricultural Ministry set up a National Service Department for the harmless food, veterinary and plant protection in order to monitor the food products in the market. March 14, 2006 decree of the Ministry of Agricultural verified the statute of the aforementioned department, which was staffed through the competition. The service department was to start its activities in 2007; however it was postponed for June 1, 2008.

The experts cannot understand why the competition was announced and the people were employed for unreal department. “We hoped the service department to launch its activities on January 1, but on December 29, 2006 the parliament made a decision on hindering the process of the aforementioned department. It is vague, what was the idea of announcing the competition for employees of the service department. Simultaneously, the Tbilisi State University ceased accepting students on the faculty of food expertise and quality management. Very soon, Georgia will not have well-trained young specialists in this field. The problem is that many of us are likely not to meet 2008, if we eat the food which dominates in the Georgian market,” said Melkadze.


Eka Gulua

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