Mr Geoffrey Arthur, Medical division of the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), has advised importers and exporters to register their cosmetics and household chemicals products before they offer them for sale.
He said the law stipulates that no retailer or importer will put any cosmetics product on his or her shelf unless the individual has registered it with the authorities before being sent to the open market.
Mr Arthur was speaking at FDB’s stakeholders’ meeting with cosmetic and household chemical importers, distributors and retailers in Accra.
He said their recent inspection of some shops in the Makola Market in Accra, revealed that 80 per cent of cosmetic products were unregistered and reminded them that importation of and sale of unregistered products violated section 118 of the Public Health Act, Act 851, 2002.
He explained that, when unregistered products were distributed on the market, the FDA was unable to vouch for the quality and safety of that product and thereby the public was at risk.
“Most of the products are also counterfeits and contained banned chemicals such as hydroquinone and steroid/corticosol, which are medicines and are supposed to be sold at drug stores,” he said and urged them not to accept such product into the open market to deter the manufacturers from producing them.
Mr. Arthur said to address these concerns for the markets business to become clean was for both the authorities and marketers to seek and find solutions to end such acts.
Mr Emmanuel Nkrumah, Head of Registration Department, called for collaboration between the Authority and the players in the sector to clamp down on those who imported such products in to the country.
He encouraged them to do group testing of products to save cost as those who were testing for only one product pay the same as those testing for 10 or more products.
“We do group testing as part of our corporate social responsibility at assisting businesses to thrive and I will encourage all of you to consider that to save cost and boost your businesses,” he added.
In a speech read on her behalf, Mrs Denis Darko, Chief Executive Officer of FDA, said the sentisation meeting was to address the concerns for public health and safety as well as for the benefit of their businesses.
She said an inspection carried out by the medical devices, cosmetic and household chemicals enforcement department within the Accra central market and its environs has revealed some worrying regulatory breeches with some respect to importation in the sale of cosmetics and other household chemical substances of which urgent steps needed to be taking to address them.
Mrs Darko expressed the hope that the meeting would assist them to find lasting solution to the menace to save innocent lives.
Some of the stakeholders urged FDA staff at the country’s entering points to be up and doing to detect such products at the entering points and prevent them from entering the country.
“Until you start enforcing the law at the country’s borders such products will continue to enter our open markets,” they added.
Some are also concerned about consumers’ attitude towards banned products, and called for public education on the harmful nature of those banned chemicals to deter consumers from patronising them.