Qatar’s consumer rights’ watchdog and public health authorities came in for scathing criticism by a number of citizens yesterday, as it took a local Arabic newspaper to break the news of a popular international brand of cornflakes being removed from the shelves across the country on health grounds.
People, as was evident from their acerbic comments on social networking sites, were furious that the newspaper citing no reasons for the ban of the popular breakfast cereal, had caught the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) and public health authorities napping.
Seen by many as an inert body, there are calls in the community to revamp the CPD at the Ministry of Business and Trade.
The CPD should have at least issued a press statement late on Tuesday evening alerting people and giving reasons for the ban because the matter concerned their health, said a critic.
Soon after the news was broken early yesterday, social networking sites, including Twitter, were buzzing with comments wondering what had suddenly gone wrong with the popular brand of cornflakes, a popular breakfast cereal for children in almost every home.
Commentators aired their ire over the role of the CPD in particular, which they said, was caught off-guard. “Why not tell the consumers what is the problem with the corn flakes brand that it was banned,” read a comment.
“Have lizards been crushed and mixed with the cornflakes? What’s the reason for banning the product?” wondered another commentator.
The decision is quite belated as some neighbouring countries have already removed the brand from shelves in their territories, said yet another commentator.
Still another commentator said that the product was banned in a western country after studies suggested that it could cause brain tumour among children. “They might have thought of marketing the product in Arab countries thinking Arabs are fools.”
“We need transparency and fair play. It seems the ban is dictated by considerations other than health. Maybe they have problems with the company, or there may be some economic reasons,” read a comment.
Another comment read: “Rise from the deep slumber, oh CPD! There are so many products, including some construction materials, you must ban”. Enquiries suggest that this is not the first time this particular brand of corn flakes has been banned in the region.
The UAE banned it in 2002 and it might have been allowed to be marketed later.
see more : Qatar Chronicle
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