Television Commercials and Quality Control

As we sat in our living room watching the news on television this morning, there was the usual interruption of ads. One made me laugh, and evidently inappropriately so.

It was an advertisement for laundry detergent. It showed a woman doing laundry by hand and burning her hands. Then a man doing laundry (although he looked like he was wearing a sleeveless, low-cut dress, so perhaps he was either a cross dresser, or more likely, a hermaphrodite) and burning a hole in sheets. It then showed the woman, complete with bandaged hands, complaining to her husband, who had the perfect solution in the form of non-caustic laundry detergent.

Now for a few comments. The commercial took place during English programming – news in English. The commercial was in Sinhalese. I have no idea what was actually said – I’m going completely on visuals. There may be a whole bunch that I missed, but I doubt it. I think my general assessment is accurate. Especially since I joked about it with Fahim and he didn’t correct me.

Then Fahim says to me, "Don’t laugh. It could happen. There are no quality controls here."


Anyone can put absolutely anything into any product they sell. Don’t matter how toxic or dangerous or whatever. No labels are required indicating ingredients or anything else.

The bottle of Vanilla Essence we bought a few weeks ago (Vanilla Extract for North Americans) listed the ingredients only as "Permited Ingredients Only". Yes, it was spelled that way, but I’m not picking on spelling today.

The question I have is this: What exactly are the permited ingredients? What’s on that list? Anything I wouldn’t want to consume? Anything that would endanger my health?

While many food products here in Sri Lanka have a listing of ingredients, since there are no laws regarding quality control, and some products simply say "contains permitted ingredients", what rules, if any, are followed in the ingredient listing? And why doesn’t Sri Lanka have mandatory ingredient listings?

Too much work. Yeah, I get that.

This actually leads me to another topic. Halal Foods.

Author: LMAshton

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