The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) has called on traders in the State to be more cautious with the display and handling of consumable products in order to ensure consumer protection and safety.
The General Manager, LASCOPA, Mrs. Kemi Olugbode, gave the charge at the opening of a two-day capacity training programme on unwholesome sales of powdered milk organised by the Agency for traders in Agege Main Market.
She said that it became necessary to organise capacity building programmes for traders so as to enlighten them on the proper and acceptable ways of displaying powdered milk as well as proper handling of the product.
Olugbode disclosed that a pilot scheme of the event started with traders at the Ojuwoye market in Mushin earlier in the year, noting that the project commenced as a result of the growing concern to proffer better methods for handling and sales of powdered milk in the open market.
The General Manager noted that a team from LASCOPA had carried out investigations on the current practice of handling and sales of powdered milk in the open market by visiting and taking photographs of the situation in some markets in the State.
She said that the findings of the investigation led to consultations with some powdered milk manufacturers and the executives of Ojuwoye Market in Mushin, and it was concluded that capacity training should be organised for the milk traders on better ways of handling the product in order to prevent hazards to consumers.
She stressed that industrial powdered milk is not for direct consumption but the production of other consumable products.
In her words, “Milk is susceptible to air and odour in the atmosphere; if you place it beside an air freshener it will attract the smell. Powdered milk being sold in the open market is susceptible to the bacteria in the environment. The manufacturers have also said that the milk is not meant for commercial use, they are meant for industrial use”.
“There is really no reason for consumers to buy powdered milk that is opened except they are buying for industrial use. Many traders do not know the harm involved in selling powdered milk in the open market”, Olugbode said.
In her remarks, the Iyaloja of Agege Main Market, Alhaja Monsurat Ajayi Adeyemi thanked the Agency for the initiative and pledged the support of the market executives and traders.