Noodles probe into deaths of children ‘to be finalised’ by the National Consumer Commission

THE National Consumer Commission (NCC) says its probe into the deaths of children, allegedly after eating noodles, is yet to be completed.

The commission was commenting after a statement was released last week by company Grandisync CC, the manufacturer of Howe noodles, which said its product had been cleared.

In December, the NCC said it had launched an investigation into the conduct of Grandisync CC.

At the time, acting national consumer commissioner Thezi Mabuza said: “Based on the information provided to the commission by other regulators and the supplier, the NCC has reasonable suspicion to believe that Grandisync CC supplied unsafe goods or goods that posed a potential risk to the public.”

The probe followed the deaths of three children who died allegedly after consuming noodles. Last November, Sinothando Gwendu, 11, Olwam Gwendu, 7, and 4-month-old Athenkosi Gwendu died in the Eastern Cape after eating noodles.

In another case in Mpumalanga, Thato Makofane, 9, and her 13-year-old brother, Keamogetswe, died, also after allegedly eating noodles.

Grandisync CC said in its statement that it could confirm that an investigation was conducted on December 14 and 15 by the NCC.

“The said investigation was finalised and we are awaiting the official release thereof from the NCC, which we expect to be imminent. We can, however, state that during the said investigation, it was established that it was not our product consumed prior to the two fatal incidents. Thus our product is cleared in respect of these incidents.”

The company said it could also confirm that the tests conducted by the SAPS laboratory confirmed the cause of death relating to the Eastern Cape children as being poisoning by Termifos, an agricultural insecticide.

It added that the results of the independent laboratory tests available confirmed that its product was safe for human consumption.

“The full tests are available at the request of any interested party. Requests in this regard can be sent to grandisync@163.com,” the statement said.