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We would always safeguard public health – FDB

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The Food and Drugs Board (FDB) on Sunday said it would continue to enforce its mandate of ensuring that the general public was protected from foods and drugs which are inimical to their health.

It would therefore ensure that persons found in these illegal and unscrupulous practices would be dealt with according to the law.

In an Interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Head of Communications of FDB, Mr James Lartey, said the work of herbal Charlatans was equally worrying and noted that people who consume these unwholesome herbal products end up having medical complications like kidney and liver problems.

According to him, though FDB acknowledges the medicinal value in plants, it admitted that there were a lot of charlatan herbalists in the country, who for want of money will produce anything to mislead the public to believe that they were good herbal products.

“These charlatans make the work of the genuine herbalists difficult because the public could eventually lose trust and confidence in genuine herbal products”

This comes in the wake of the arrest of a suspect, Mr Daniel Taku, on the 18th August 2011, who had in his possession and also involved in the sale of fake products at the Sekondi-Takoradi market.

The suspect was found to have in his possession fake Borges Olive Oil, two herbal products – Toppey Kooko capsules (indicated for the treatment of piles and waist pains) and Toppey Gona Capsules (for the treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

According to the Board, none of the products have been registered by the Food and Drugs Board as the law demands.

Both herbal products are capsules that have been nicely packaged, however these capsules are suspected to contain the mixture of sand and saw dust.

While the labels of the products have a location address of Dansoman, Accra and a Takoradi telephone number.

The content of Toppey Kooko Capsules is a dark brown sandy like substance in a light and blue capsule shell with the inscription DOLONOL whilst the Toppey Gona Capsules is a pale brownish substance in an all yellow capsule shell with the inscription COLDEX DAY.

The Counterfeit Borges Olive Oil which lacked the security seal had it content sediment when stored in the refrigerator overnight whilst the original remained clear with no sediments when subjected to the same storage condition.

The counterfeit product had no batch number, manufacturing or expiry dates.

The FDB said since the contents of the products clearly indicate that they could not be used to treat any disease, it was advising the public not to patronize them.

Consumption of these products will rather lead to stomach ulcer and other diseases in the gastrointestinal tract”, the FDB said.

“It is worrying that one would spend huge sums of money seeking cure for some ailments but ends up compounding his or her situation by taking dangerous, counterfeit and unregistered medicines which quality, safety and efficacy cannot be guaranteed”, the board said.

This Mr. Lartey said the activities of the seller contravenes Section 18 of the Food and Drugs Law, PNDCL 305B, which states that ‘No person shall manufacture, prepare, sell, supply, export or import into Ghana any drug, cosmetic, medical device or household chemical, unless the article has been registered with the Food and Drugs Board’.

The Head of FDB’s Communication unit admitted that the distribution and sale of fake products (Food, Drugs (including herbal medicines), Cosmetics, Medical Devices and Household Chemicals) was an issue that the FDB has been battling with for a period of time now.

It however noted that the FDB would be relent in its effort and that it had organized various Police-assisted swoops to rid the market of fake products countrywide, an activity being embarked on, on daily basis by the FDB

In an interview with Madam Afua Yeboah, a trader at the Tema station on the sale of counterfeit drugs, she said the FDB should be well resourced to rid the market of counterfeit drugs because it could be injurious to human health.

A banker who wanted to remain anonymous told the GNA that the FDB should not be perceived as antagonistic to herbalists but should be supported to deliver on its mandate to.

He urged the FDB to do all it can to ensure that persons found with these illegal and unscrupulous practices would be dealt with according to the law.

Counterfeit drugs are medications that are produced using ingredients that may be inactive, incorrect or harmful. They are packaged and labeled to look like actual brand name drugs or generic drugs.

Source: GNA

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