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Labelling on food items investigated by NCC

By Staff Writer
The National Consumer Commission (NCC) is investigating labelling and trade descriptions within the retail industry as a whole. The investigation was sparked when a consumer complained to the NCC that there was allegedly unclear country of origin labelling on fruits by a retailer.
 
The NCC emphasised that the investigation is not solely focused on Woolworths, but is an industry-wide investigation, despite claims by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Against Israel in South Africa (BDS South Africa) that the investigation is focused on false Israeli labelling by Woolworths.
 
Commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed, the NCC head, stated: “I wish to clarify the fact that the NCC’s investigation is not into false Israeli labelling by Woolworths, but rather a much broader industry-wide investigation focusing on labelling and trade descriptions by retailers, including Woolworths.”
 
The complaint
 
In November of last year, the NCC received a compliant which alleged that a certain retailer had unclear country of origin labelling on its fruits. The complaint was passed on to the Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman who had jurisdiction in this case.
 
Earlier this year, the case was referred back to the NCC “for further handling and resolution. After a further assessment of it the NCC became aware of a much wider issue and therefore escalated the matter for investigation,” revealed the NCC.
 
It is not yet clear when the investigation will be completed, as the NCC highlighted that there are a number of retailers that need to be inspected across South Africa, and that there are resource constraints.
 
Mohamed added: “I am also most perturbed by the publication on social media and other platforms of confidential, internal documents of the NCC, which has the potential to undermine our work.”

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