Bhutan Standard Bureau (BSB) has exposed two oil mill companies based in Phuentsholing, namely Karten Oil Mill and Kenpa Private Limited, for supplying poor quantity refined oil in the local market.
The issue of the quantity of refined oil was raised during a consultation workshop on rules and regulation that was organized by the Department of Trade in Phuentsholing from 11 -14 January.
BSB, in their routine inspection, had collected samples of bottled refined oil from retail shops in Phuentsholing. Further, the validation of the net weight was conducted against each sample, based on the published information, where actual net weight of three out of eight samples were found less than the actual net weight published on the label.
Upon the receipt of the test report of product samples, inspectors with Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) were dispatched for market inspection in Thimphu. A team comprising of the chief trade officer and trade officer from OCP and trade inspectors based in Regional Trade and Industry Office (RTIO) in Phuentsholing visited the oil mills for inspection.
OCP initiated the investigation for early intervention in unfair trade practices. On 18 March, the trade inspectors with the OCP were dispatched to see the availability of the said oil in the local markets in Thimphu. On 23 March, team visited Karten Oil Mill and interacted with the proprietor and on following day, the team visited the Kenpa Private Limited and interacted with management of the company.
BSB, while carrying out the validation of the net weight of the sample of cooking oils in retail shops in Phuentsholing, found out that the net weights of three products were significantly less than the actual weight published on the label. In addition, both the oil mill companies have bottled oil without publication of information of the ingredients on the label.
OCP directed the two oil mill companies to correct the quantity measurement, or face penalty.
The two mills import large quantities of refined oil from India. It is then bottled in Phuentsholing and sold in Bhutan, widely available in the local markets in Thimphu and other towns.
Noting that the above three samples are essential food product affecting the health and safety of the consumers, OCP sought intervention of Bhutan Agriculture Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) to examine ingredients in the refined oil along with its quality safety for consumption, and if proved unsafe for consumption, OCP will ban the supply of the oil.