© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Rejoinder: Honey company Kaybecks reacts to The ICIR report on contaminated honey products
RE: Investigation: Honey products with NAFDAC number impure, compromise health
We are writing with respect to the above news story written by one Amos ABBA and Rebecca AKINREMI, domiciled on https://www.icirnigeria.org/honey-products-with-nafdac-number-impure-compromise-health/ that claimed to investigate the quality of popular honey products being sold in Abuja.
It is important to set the records straight – Kaybecks Ltd is a duly registered, up-to-date food and pharmaceutical company with a proven track record of delivering quality products. Our Directors and Board members are outstanding professionals who have over 150 years of cumulative experience in the public service, health and pharmaceutical industry. Our factory and operations are governed by the application of the highest standards of good manufacturing practice.
We had received an SMS from one Rebecca AKINREMI with the mobile number 08068740085 on Saturday, December 28, 2019, stating that “a result of a scientific test being conducted showed there is high bacteria and fungal presence in your honey products(sic). So, I want to know why it is high?” Upon receipt of the SMS, we had promised to get back to her upon investigation.
We were therefore surprised that two days later, on Monday, December 30, 2019, your news outlet had gone live with the said story without recourse to the editorial rigour, fairness and balance that professionally should follow these kinds of story. Like the legal maxim, which has always been the gold standard for editorial reportage says, audi alternam partem – let the other side be heard as well, which was demonstrably not heeded, it is against this backdrop that we are responding to your news story.
On the status of NAFDAC certification of the product, your story makes a false conclusion – “that means that its licence has expired more than two years ago” based on NAFDAC Registered Products Database online. However, one is forced to ask an imperative question – did your reporter visit or call the NAFDAC office in Abuja to find out the status of the certification knowing fully well that many public institutions fail to update the data on their website.
This is a clear example of the lack of rigour alluded to in earlier paragraph. For the records, we have taken the liberty to attach to this correspondence, the most recent notification from NAFDAC which shows that our license would expire in March 2020 and we have made the necessary payments to renew before its expiration.
On the presence of pathogenic bacteria, we take our responsibility to deliver quality products seriously by adhering to the General Principles of Food Hygiene recommended by the Codex Alimentarius. The meticulous work that precedes the final output which includes thorough quality assurance, as well as the post-market spot checks we conduct at retail outlets, is testament to our commitment to delivering quality products.
It is against this backdrop that we have subjected our product to other routine laboratory tests and we have also taken the liberty to attach the results. The conclusive determination by leading experts is that the product is satisfactory and safe for use.
We are very amenable to inviting you to visit our facilities in Lagos if you so desire to see how we work for your good selves. Thank you for publishing our rejoinder.
Dr. R Soremekun