Yaounde hosted a meeting on August 23rd 2023 in the presence of representatives of the sectoral administrations, the Agency for Standards and Quality (ANOR), the National Consumer Council (CONACO) and the Cameroonian League of Consumers (LCC) to take measures against traders. The aim was to find ways of dispelling the public psychosis surrounding the use of formaldehyde to ripen bananas and pineapples.
The meeting focused on the use of pesticides, which is governed by a World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement on sanitary and phytosanitary measures. “The law provides for penalties and fines for offenders. Several government departments are involved in consumer protection, with the Ministry of Trade at the forefront.
According to Jacqueline Koa, President of CONACO. Since 2020, the National Consumer Council has been carrying out raids on pineapple production sites. According to the member of the Government, “there is a problem with controlling the movement of products. Repressive measures need to be taken. The use of phytosanitary products is not forbidden, because the treatment of the product is compulsory”.
To remedy this urgent situation, the Minister for Trade announced the end of playtime, and made a number of strong recommendations: control of product articulations, a permanent presence in the field, and the application of administrative, judicial and criminal sanctions.