Are temporary stalls selling herbs subject to checks?

I have concerns about edible items sold at many heartland markets in Singapore, in the light of the recent letter on cordyceps (Are cordyceps sold here really safe?, by Mr Tan Soon Teck; June 19).

It is now common to see stalls being set up outside licensed shops surrounding wet markets touting various items from household products to floor cleaners to medicinal goods.

The edible category is most concerning. Such stalls usually display many Chinese herbs, with stall owners hawking them at much lower prices compared with the chain stores and shops that sell similar products. I believe this is unregulated and uncontrolled, and there have been reports of fake products being sold as well.

As such stalls usually operate more over the weekends, its patrons are mainly those going to the wet markets and may include a large number of older people.

Unregulated distribution of such products can cause irreversible damage to people's health.

The authorities should inform the public on whether checks are conducted on such stalls and whether the sellers of fake consumables are taken to task.

Kevin Chua Hock Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2018, with the headline 'Are temporary stalls selling herbs subject to checks?'. Print Edition | Subscribe