The Consumer Protection Association of Myanmar [Burma] (CPAM) will lobby against the sale of imported snacks from China at schools, after tests show high levels of harmful chemicals.
According to CPAM coordinator Ba Oak Khine, inspections conducted at several government-run Basic Education Schools in December showed certain Chinese-brand snacks contained a high quantity of prohibited dyes and preservatives.
“We found that the Chinese snacks – jellies, chips and sweets – we picked up at a school canteen contained high doses of additives and prohibited colouring agents. The food also lacked expiry dates on the packages,” said Ba Oak Khine.
He said the group would seek the cooperation of administrators at schools in Rangoon and Mandalay divisions to remove the snacks, popular among school children for their bright packaging and low cost.
Dr Thet Thet San of the government Education Office in Rangoon said Chinese snacks had been prohibited in schools last year, however the ban was not enforced. She expressed a hope that renewed efforts would now bring a different outcome.
“There are countless numbers of these snacks being introduced in the market every day without proper registration or approval by health authorities,” said Dr Thet Thet San.
The CPAM plans further inspections at the beginning of the new school year in June.
“We already have approval from the Education Office for further inspections.” Ba Oak Khine said.