The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) has embarked on an investigative tour of International Brewery following an allegation of impurity found in one of its products by a consumer
Speaking during the visit to the company, the General Manager of the agency, Kemi Olugbode, said although the incident occurred in Abuja based on the video that went viral recently, the proactive visit to the company becomes expedient given the fact that the largest consumers of Grand Malt, the product in contention, are in Lagos.
According to the LASCOPA boss, who led the management team to the company, the exercise was to demonstrate the state government’s concern about the welfare of consumers, pointing out that the consumers protection law of the state, which centres on quality, quantity, purity of products, price and avoidance of unfair practices by manufacturers, will be interpreted to the letter on behalf of consumers.
Speaking further, Olugbode said that government will not relent in its efforts at getting to the root of the matter, pointing out that the company’s close – circuited, automated and non-human involvement process of operation notwithstanding, the investigation is still ongoing in a bid to safeguard the interest of consumers.
In his remarks, the agency’s Director of Scientific Investigation, Research and Development, Deji Badejo implored the company to take a closer look at the use of plastic in the packaging of products, as the object found in the malt drink by the consumer could have been prevented in the face of meaningful safety measures.
Responding, the plant manager of the company, Tony Agar, said series of laboratory tests have since commenced on the sample within and outside the country to ascertain the particular object in the drink and the possible cause, adding that production of the said Malt drink has been stopped since the incidence, pending the outcome of the investigation.
He, however, commended the Lagos State government for its foresight, activities and the enormous priority placed on the interest of consumers in the state and the protection of their rights, adding that the company, which is the second-largest plant in Africa will cooperate with the state government in the investigation.
The tour of the company took LASCOPA’s management team to various departments of production, including the source of water, filtration, storage facilities for raw materials, disposal unit of spent materials as well as packaging section where the suspected particle in the Malt drink could have slipped in.