By Anna Saghabalian
A State Quality Inspection official today published the findings of studies of 46 names of Turkish products imported and sold in Armenia, assuring the media that while some of them may fall short of certain requirements of Armenian quality standards, they are all safe for use and contain no threat to human life.
Thus, the Inspection responded to a series of recent “we-don’t-need-Turkish-junk” publications in the Armenian press alleging that products imported to Armenia from neighboring Turkey, in particular chocolate, put human lives at risk.
Deputy Head of the Inspection Gevorg Gyozalian said the Inspection monitors the situation on the whole market and does not pinpoint Turkish products.
However, Gyozalian said, the studies revealed that, in particular, Turkish chocolate is made not of coco oil, as required by the Armenian standards regulations, but of vegetable oil. The rest, according to him, are technical shortcomings connected with wrong labeling. In this regard, he said that chocolate produced in Armenia meets all national standard requirements.
In the recent period the Inspection has penalized entities importing or selling Turkish products that fall short of domestic quality standards for a total of 2,300,000 drams (about $5,100), Gyozalian revealed.
“We have specified the list of bodies that issued licenses to these companies. We intend to request that the attestation council take
action against these bodies,” he said.
Among the most frequent violations by local producers Gyozalian singled out problems with wrong labeling, such as labels that do not indicate the date of production, the energy value and composition of the product thus misleading the consumer.
“This year we have already conducted about 300 inspections in different sectors regarding different products, both at the stage of production and sale, revealing 150 cases of violations,” he said.
Among locally produced goods with wrong labeling Gyozalian, in particular, listed dairy products, sausages, eggs, but stop short of naming the offending companies.
At the same time, Gyozalian admitted insufficient manpower for a full-scale monitoring on the market.
“We have only 50 inspectors, which is obviously not enough for the great number of economic agents we have in Armenia today,” he said. “We cannot have one inspector monitoring one production all the time. We make random inspections, and if we reveal a violation we penalize the producer or seller.”