Surrender harmful products, traders told 

SELLERS of harmful products including toxic cosmetics in Singida District have been told to surrender the products to the responsible authorities or face stern legal measures.

The warning and directive were given here by Singida District Commissioner (DC), Mr Paskas Muragili during a one-day joint session between Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and Singida cosmetics traders that   aimed at providing awareness on the various cosmetics they purchase from big dealers before selling them  in their retail shops.

He said he was prompted to remind traders in the district after it came to his attention that some businessmen and women were still selling some cosmetics that were banned by the government years back due to their health negative effects to users.

He said the government’s responsibility was to protect the safety of its people and their properties.

He said through the Finance Act No. 2 of 2009 and Finance Act No. 8 of 2019, the government gave TBS the responsibility of protecting the quality and safety of all domestic and imported products, including cosmetics so as to keep its people safe.

“When TBS finds out there are sub-standard products in the market, its responsibility is to make sure such  items are removed from shelves in order to protect the health of the consumers who probably don’t know  their  effects on their health,” explained the DC.

TBS Central Zone Manager, Nickonia Mwabuka said the main aim of preventing the sale of cosmetics containing toxic ingredients is not to disgrace or cause loss to the traders but rather to protect the health of citizens, considering that such items pose serious consequences including  skin cancer and kidney diseases.

“When the nation has few patients, it spends less money on treatment, directing the remaining funds to other development activities,” explained Mr Mwabuka.

Meanwhile, cosmetics sellers who attended the meeting asked TBS authorities to stop importers from importing unwanted cosmetics and other commodities that do not meet the required standards, a practice that will deny small traders an access to such banned    products.

They said some small-scale traders lack knowledge of identifying banned cosmetics, a problem that causes them to incur loss when authorities confiscate the banned commodities

“In fact, when the products are seized from us and confiscated, we are left bewildered as we do not know that selling such commodities is against the law because we lack information on their effects,” argued Ms Pili Hussein, the traders’ chairperson.

“Confiscating our goods pulls us back economically. Some of us have taken loans from the banks. Now when our goods are confiscated, how do we pay back the loans?” she queried.

Some of the people asked whether they were aware about cosmetics containing toxic ingredients, they declined to have such knowledge, a vivid indication that TBS and other responsible organs still had a long way to go in sensitising them.

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