…given grace period to get licensed – GA-FDDThe Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) will be clamping down on water processing and distributing units across the country, to ensure that they are fully compliant with all regulations and are licensed by October of this year. This was related to Guyana Times by GA-FDD Director Marlon Cole on Wednesday during an exclusive interview.“We are working with them, and we are encouraging them to ensure that they bring in their applications and the necessary paper work, so that they can be licensed for 2018,” Cole revealed.Cole disclosed that the GA-FDD would be conducting regular inspections of water processing businesses to ensure compliance with the law.According to Cole, those businesses should have been fully compliant and licensed by March of this year, but the department had extended that time until October of 2018. He noted that all water vending businesses, including those operating out of the city, would be expected to be licensed on or before that time.“Officers in the outlying regions will conduct the necessary inspections at the water businesses, and will bring samples as well,” Cole asserted.The GA-FDD recently concluded an assessment in Georgetown and Greater Georgetown areas – done over a six-month period – and discovered that 11 water processing factories were operating without the necessary licence from the department.This GA-FDD made this disclosure earlier in August, stating that samples were analysed for microbiological and chemical parameters to verify compliance with safety requirements. Of the 29 facilities from which samples were taken, 11 were found to be operating without the necessary licence from the department. Of the 87 samples submitted for analysis, 15, or 17 per cent, were found to be unsatisfactory.The GA-FDD is now urging consumers to be cautious, to request to see a valid licence from water processing factories which retail five-gallon proportions, and to ensure the bottles are properly labelled and sealed before purchasing same.Consumers are advised to report any company that fails to comply with the GA-FDD’s requirements relative to the sale of treated water.