The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), has organised a day’s seminar for the media and the public in Sunyani to seek support to enhance the work of the Authority.
Mr James Lartey, Head of Communications for FDA, said although his outfit is mandated to regulate the production and consumption of food and drugs in the country the Authority believes there is the need for shared responsibility.
He said this is to ensure effective and efficient delivery of the mandate of the FDA, hence the need to sensitise stakeholders and get them on board to fight the consumption menace.
Mr Lartey urged members of the public to notify the FDA of any discrepancies and illegalities in the food and drug business wherever and whenever they chance upon them.
He said this would allow for swift action to be taken, to save the lives of the populace from consuming unwholesome products, which would have negative effects on their health and lower productivity.
Mr Agyeman Duah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in-charge of Monitoring and Evaluation of the FDA, said the time has come for the Authority to open up to the public and other allied agencies, to rid the country of fake and unwholesome products.
He said the FDA is mandated by law (Act 815, 2012) to solely regulate among other things, the production and consumption of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices and household item.
He said considering the enormity of the task, the complexity and widespread activities of unscrupulous perpetrators, there is the urgent need for the FDA to seek support from the public, to address the consumption danger.
Mr Duah noted that the greatest challenge facing the FDA in its operations is in the area of drug abuse and said: “We are all at risk, so society should help the FDA with adequate information to enable it bring the situation under control.”
Mr Matthew Gyang Nkum, the Brong Ahafo Regional Head of FDA, urged all consumers to be wary of fake and unwholesome products.
He said the Labeling Law (LI 1531) enjoins all manufacturers to conspicuously display comprehensible language, production and expiry dates on products before putting them on the market.
“Please try to check the languages, which should include English and the production and expiry dates of products, before buying them,” he advised.
The Regional Head also commended the media in the region for their overwhelming support for his outfit, which has greatly enhanced its operations and urged them to sustain it.
Participants were of the general view that the FDA needed to increase its personnel, forge closer and more practical collaboration with allied agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana Standards Authority, the Police, Judicial Service, and the media, in order to make its impact felt more in the society.