CONSUMERS ALERT- Counterfeited Ajinomoto

The Government Analyst – Food and Drug Department (GAFDD) wishes to alert consumers, wholesalers and retailers of the circulation of counterfeited (fake) one (1)Lb., two hundred (200g) and one hundred (100g) brands of Ajinomoto on our local market that is traded particularly in outlying areas.

The original product is made in Brazil and the official distributor is Continental Agencies Limited of Industrial Estate, Ruimveldt Georgetown and a carton of fifty (50) packs X 454 grams of the original Ajinomoto cost approximately  twenty thousand ($20000) GY dollars , while the cost for a carton of the counterfeited product is only fourteen thousand ($14000) GY dollars.

There are noticeable differences between the original and the counterfeited Ajinomoto’s label and color. On the label of the original Ajinomoto the expiry date and related information is printed on the right sided outer seal of the plastic package, while on the counterfeited product, a production date and an expiry date is placed directly on the body (main panel) of the package. In addition, the crystal of the original product is cream in color, while that of the counterfeited product is white. (See attached photo)

Laboratory analysis conducted for Purity both in Brazil and Japan revealed that the original product is 99.90% pure while the counterfeited product is only 91.63% pure.  Using the counterfeited Ajinomoto can therefore result in excessive salt (sodium) intake by consumers since more Ajinomoto would be added in food than normal to reach the required level of aroma and / or taste. This is of public health significance since; excessive salt (sodium) intake is a contributing factor in the epidemic of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in our society that results in obesity, hypertension and congestive heart failure.

The Department has since seized and removed the counterfeited Ajinomoto from several stalls and supermarkets in the lower East Coast area, but was recently denied access to the premises of the suspected Importer.  Environmental Health Officer in the outlying regions will now be alerted of this exercise and to carry out similar actions. Persons found deliberately offering for sale items of food that is not according to the prescribed standard is guilty of an offence and can be prosecuted under the Laws of Guyana Food and Drug Act Chapter 34:03 Section seven (7).

Wholesalers, retailers and consumers are asked to ensure that the packages of Ajinomoto are checked for the highlighted difference between the original and counterfeited Ajinomoto.

The Department will continue to work meticulously with members of the business committee and the general public to ensure that our local market is free of substandard food, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices.