Are Bhutanese protected as consumers in case of products with defects and the producer incurs a legal liability for producing unsafe products?
Yes say officials of the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP). “According to the Consumer Protection Act of Bhutan 2012, in determining what a person is generally entitled to expect in relation to the product, all relevant circumstances should be taken into account including, the manner and purpose in which the product has been marketed, instruction for or warnings with respect to doing or refraining from doing anything with or in relation to the product and the time when the product was supplied by its producer to another person, ” said Gopal of OCP.
He said OCP do take complaints from consumers if exploited but do not react to irrelevant posts on social media by anonymous users. “Since Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) is an important food regulatory authority, if a producer supplies a defective product, a consumer shall file a complaint with BAFRA and the consumer must produce a defective product. BAFRA would give the product for laboratory test and investigate the case.”
The act also states, “The producer of the product shall be liable where any injury is caused to the consumer’s life, body or property by the defective product.
According to the food Act, a food inspector shall collect a sample of food and submit it to designated laboratory where it shall be analyzed or where required be referred to regional referral laboratories. Where the food product presents an imminent danger to human health or environment, a food inspector may immediately destroy or order the destruction of unsafe food. The destruction of unsafe food shall be carried out as per the Standard Operating Procedure for destruction of unsafe product.
Gopal said a post on social media about an unidentified content in 600 ml of Bhutan Coca Cola would be fake because after going to the author’s profile on face book, he is staying in Australia and he don’t have a concrete evidences. He insisted, instead of posting such issue on face book and social media, people should complain to the relevant authority like BAFRA or OCP.