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Smuggling of unwholesome products thing of the past – FDA

Chief Executive Director of the FDA, Mrs Delese Darko

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has said that the smuggling of unwholesome products into Ghana is now a thing of the past.

According to the authority, persons who engage in the practice will no longer be successful with their tactics.

It has dared smugglers to attempt sneaking in unwholesome products to ascertain whether or not they will be successful.

“For those who want to smuggle unwholesome goods in, we want them to try again and see if they’ll be successful,” an officer with the Food Industrial Support Services Department of FDA, Ebenezer Kofi Essel, told Starr FM.

The FDA is confident such persons will not be able to do due to stringent measures it has put in place.

The entity maintains that necessary structures have been put in place to safeguard the health of Ghanaians right from the ports to the shelves.

“We know the measures we’ve put in place,” Mr. Essel assured.

He added that “we [FDA] also pay attention to the storage capacity of those who want to bring in frozen foods.”

Mr. Essel further indicated that the FDA was focusing on public education and “will pay attention to items sold on the internet.”

Unwholesome goods destruction

Over the years, the FDA resorted to seizing and destroying unwholesome goods impounded at the ports and markets.

In December 2019, the Food and Drugs Authority directed the withdrawal of some 16 brands of tomato paste from the market.

The sixteen tomato paste products which were described by the authority as unwholesome, were said to contain starch and colour ingredients which were not indicated on the labels.

According to the FDA, these ingredients are not permitted in tomato paste, thus, violating the Ghana standards for tomato paste.

In March 2020, a Cargo truck, carrying two 40-footer containers loaded with goods suspected to be unwholesome pharmaceutical products and wax prints imported into the country, were intercepted at Achimota in Accra.

The exercise was carried out through a joint operation by the Accra Regional Police Command, the Customs Division of the Accra Regional Police Command and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

A popular food supplement, COA FS, suffered a similar fate when six hundred and ninety-two boxes of the product were recalled from the market.

The products were subsequently destroyed.

They were from a batch the FDA, on April 18, 2020, directed the manufacturers to recall from the shelves when it was detected that some samples of the product had been found to be contaminated.

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