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Local manufacturers worried over FDA failure to fight counterfeiters


A group of local manufacturers and producers of water and food in the northern region has called on the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to step up its effort in carrying out its mandate of protecting consumers in the country.

The group said the FDA’s inadequate staff and logistical constraints make it difficult to deal with complains and to monitor unwholesome products in the markets all of which end up affecting ordinary consumers. To address issues of paramount importance, the group urged the FDA to abandon its practice of dealing with individuals and instead deal with product associations.

At a public forum in Tamale, some consumers called on FDA to periodically monitor production facilities to ensure producers comply with basic health practices. A pharmaceutical company representative complained bitterly about the agency’s delay in responding to whistle blowers on the activities of suspected counterfeits and expired products.

Consumers also expressed dissatisfaction with the FDA for ignoring the effects of fertilizer and Argo chemicals which they said are killing Ghanaians at a faster rate than even drugs.  image
The consumers also want the regulatory body to investigate the adulteration of honey by some producers which has created panic among consumers. The honey industry according to a participant are now melting phone mattresses with sugar to make the honey thick.
But FDA says they are mounting surveillance at border post crossings to check smuggling and criminal activities. The authority blames the problems on the lukewarm attitude of Ghanaians.

On the delay in responding to whistle blowers, the FDA apologizes for its inability to act promptly on fake products in the market. It, however, gave the assurance that efforts are being made in the sub region to ensure that drugs and other products are suitable for all countries.

Responding to concerns about Pastors healing water, FDA’s Head of Communications James Lartey said the authority cannot go after those pastors if the bottles don’t carry label with  prescriptions for illnesses.

He explained that they can only arrest and prosecute such pastors if they have evidence that the pastors have violated regulations. “If you don’t believe in it; don’t go for it, ” he advised consumers.

On the adulteration of honey, the agency said the practices are not new and that it is treating the issue with all seriousness like the Sudan IV adulteration of palm oil. Sudan IV is an industrial dye used in the coloration of plastics and other synthetic products. Sudan IV according to FDA ECO, Mr Hudu Mogtari had the potential of causing cancer when mix with food. It urged the public to assist the authority with information.

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