THE quality of baby food sold on the Zambian market despite having good regulations is a challenge, says Civil Society Organization Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance.
CSO-SUN Alliance nutrition programme officer Nelly Phiri said it had been observed that most traders of baby foods had failed to adhere to laid down regulations that governed the distribution of baby foods based on nutritional quality.
Ms Phiri said the country had enough regulations to ensure the quality of imported baby foods onto the local market, but that there were great hindrances in management of the system to guarantee value.
She explained that Government departments such as the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) and others had been mandated to ensure quality of imported products including baby foods but that the status quo was proving impossible to attain.
“The Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) has regulations in place that should address the growing concerns of the quality of baby foods sold in supermarkets and retail stores.
“It is sad, however, to know that despite having such good regulations that should ensure quality baby products on the market, we are still facing serious challenges in terms of having quality baby foods on the market,” she said.
Ms Phiri was responding to inquires on the certainty of nutritional value of imported baby foods available on the Zambian market.
She said ZABS was a specialized organizations serving in the field of standardization, standards formulation, quality control, quality assurance, import and export quality inspections, certification and removal of technical barriers to trade in terms of imports.
Ms Phiri said even the Food and Drugs Act also provided some guidance on the quality of baby foods to be marketed in the country.
She however said it was worrying that baby food imports were still sub-standard.