YEREVAN, October 14. / ARKA /. Head of an Armenian consumer watchdog has accused today the State Food Safety Service of hushing up breaches it reveals during numerous inspections of local companies.
Speaking at a news conference, Babken Pipoyan, head of an organization called Informed and Protected Consumer, claimed that the agency, which is an affiliation of the ministry of agriculture, often fails to be up to its immediate function and besides it does not often respond to signals from public and other organizations about breaches of food safety requirements by traders.
In this connection he recalled a series of resonant revelations of breaches in dairy and meat products in 2011-2012. Pipoyan said no serious breaches have been revealed in 2013.
Pipoyan said a more effective fight against ‘malicious’ offenders of food safety standards requires a concerted work with local organizations and citizens. He called also on it to inform the public at large about all irregularities and violations detected in the food markets. However, he did not cite any example to ground his allegations.
Arman Araratyan from the agency disagreed with Pipoyan saying that in addition to routine inspections, the agency also conducts off-schedule inspections. In support of his words Araratyan said in 2012 the agency inspected 230 companies, up from planned 160.
Araratyan reminded that if a consumer has doubts about the poor quality of a product he or she has the right to demand a quality certificate, and if they find discrepancies they can take their complaints to the State Food Safety Service. .-0-