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School tuck shops in Magway Region receive surprise inspections from DCA

Myitmakha News Agency

Yangon, June 23 – in a bid to prohibit the selling of illegal snacks within schools in Magway Region, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has announced they are currently carrying out a series of surprise inspections on schools in the region.

The region boasts over 4,000 schools, all of which are to receive inspections, while so far it is reportedly a total of 60 schools have experienced unexpected visits from the DCA.

“We don’t inform the school tuck shops prior to our visit. Once surprises inspections have been carried out, findings are resubmitted to the Consumer Protection Association (CPA). Any arguments over the withdrawing of permission to sell snacks will be negotiated by the CPA with the school headmaster concerned.” said Daw Aye Aye Moe, a civil servant from the Magway Region DCA.

Inspections are being carried out to mitigate the selling of snacks from China, as well as those produced domestically, that uses artificial dyes and which are void of any trademark of company registration. As part of the process, the DCA is also issuing shops with registration documents and providing educational awareness on the dangers of selling unrecognised foods.

“[Snacks being sold] must display a company trade mark and address.” continued Daw Aye Aye Moe. “We want to conduct background checks! [Snacks] which don’t display an address prevent us from be able to do so. The presence of non-permitted dyes can also pose dangers to children. If an incident occurs because of a snack being ingested and there’s no address to check-up on, nothing can be done to solve the grievances of the situation.”

Initiatives for the registration of school tuck shops, and the conducting of educational awareness talks, will be complied and reportedly submitted to the Minister of Magway Region during the final week of June, while educational discussions are also being carried out with the parent’s of school children as well as school children themselves, it is known.

“The DCA is conducting health talks in partnership with other organizations during this week’s School Health Week Talks. They’ve instructed school tuck shops on what snacks not to sell, from jellies to foods with Chinese ingredients.” said Daw Amar Sein, headmistress of a middle school in Magway Region.

Of the 4,000 schools in which the inspections over substandard Chinese and domestically produced snacks – together with educational awareness talks – are being conducted, it is reportedly that monastic educational institutions are included.

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