The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in the Upper East Region, as part of its yearly routine market surveillance activities, has undertaken safe disposal of unwholesome and contaminated food products and drugs.
The GH¢312,720.15 worth of products that were disposed of, through burning in the open air at a dump site at Sherigu, a periphery in Bolgatanga, included food supplements, household chemicals, herbal medicines, food products, pharmaceutical drugs, and cosmetics.
Addressing newsmen after the exercise at Sherigu, the Regional Head of the FDA, Sebastian Mawuli Hotor, heaped praises on some owners of pharmaceutical, chemical and provisions shops, who willingly co-operated with the organisation to get rid of the “health-threatening” products on the market.
He acknowledged their efforts in that direction, saying they did not only give consent and cooperate in the exercise of the mandate of the FDA per the Public Health Act 2012 (Act 851), but helped pay for the destruction of the regulated products.
The regional head, cautioned the few miscreants who still sold contaminated, counterfeit and unregistered products to the unsuspecting public to eschew the act or risk facing court action.
Mr Hotor reminded the public that the FDA was mandated to protect public health by ensuring the safety of the nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emitted radiation.
Underscoring the need for the business community, especially wholesalers and retailers in the region to team up with the FDA to ensuring the health of the people was not compromised, he said, “Expired products are not good for consumption. We carry this exercise from time to time because we want to rid the shops of unwholesome and expired products, and to prevent the re-entry of the products onto the market.”
“In our office here in the region, we storm markets three times a week, to look out for expired, rusted and unwholesome products; and get rid of them, confiscate them for disposal like this.
“We target market days, and what we have confiscated is 70 per cent pharmaceutical products which are expired,” Mr Hotor disclosed to journalists.
The Regional Head of FDA, meanwhile, also entreated the public to be meticulous as they bought consumables on the markets because some businessmen and women prioritised their profit margins over the health of the individual, and flooded the market with unwholesome products.
He, however, urged that residents in the region to check the expiry date and registration status of products before purchasing, buy only regulated products from accredited outlets, and also report any individual or business entity that sold expired, unregistered, and unwholesome products to the FDA for the law to take its course on them.