Manufacturing

Dairy board impounds Sh36m illicit milk powder

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Worryingly, the Dairy Board seized a large consignment of corn starch bags, powder mixing equipment and packaging materials at the facility, raising concern over the safety and quality of the product. FILE PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH

The Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) has impounded illicit powder milk valued at Sh35.67 million in a crackdown that has also revealed possible adulteration of the commodity with maize flour by unscrupulous traders.

In a statement, the Board said the confiscated goods include a consignment of 655 25-kilogramme bags of full cream spray dried milk powder that lacked importation documents from a wholesaler on Nairobi's Eastern Bypass in August last year.

The agency last week also impounded 150 25kg bags of full cream milk powder at Kamakis from traders who were not registered to deal in the dairy products, while 422 25kg bags of the product were seized from a godown at a different location in Kamakis.

Read: Trader in hot soup for illegal use of maize flour mark

Worryingly, the Dairy Board seized a large consignment of corn starch bags, powder mixing equipment and packaging materials at the facility, raising concern over the safety and quality of the product.

The adulteration is meant to increase the quantity of the milk powder to boost sales volumes.

“This leads to further suspicions that the product is constituted by mixing with corn starch and repackaged as full cream milk powder. If proven true by the ongoing lab analysis, this constitutes serious adulteration, fraud and consumer deceit,” said the Board.

It further found that the mixing and packaging premise was unhygienic and lacked basic sanitary facilities including water.

The crackdown is part of a multi-agency team including the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), the Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

“Despite government efforts to facilitate international and local trade through harmonisation and automation of business processes, we note with concern that illegal importation of dairy products continues to take place,” said Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi.

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