The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says it is counting on the support of the media, especially radio and television stations, to help flush out unapproved consumable items from the market.
To this end, it is urging the media to consider it as a social and civic responsibilities in disallowing people from advertising products which have not been duly approved by the FDA on their media platforms to safeguard public safety.
Mrs. Akua Amponsaa Owusu, the FDA Regional Director responsible for Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions, at a media briefing in Sunyani, cautioned operators of radio stations to desist from running Live Presenter Mentions (LPMs) and other forms of advertisements on any food or drug which have not been sanctioned by the FDA.
She said the health and safety of the general publc was paramount to government and its agencies, adding that “the FDA has a direct responsibility to safeguard the health and safety of the people of Ghana.”
Strict adherence required
“As part of regulating products to ensure their safety, quality, good performance and efficacy, the FDA ensures that the content of an advertisement is vetted and approved to ensure that the information on the product is accurate to provide the consumer with the required information to make informed choices. In effect, outrageous exaggerations, half-truths, outright lies, and disparaging materials are disallowed”, she explained.
She stated that the Public Health Act (Act 851) prohibits the practice where food is advertised as a preventive or cure for a disease, disorder or an abnormal physical state. “Sometimes, ordinary drinks are portrayed as drugs which can cure all kinds of health challenges such as sexual weakness, waist pain, menstrual pains and several others but in reality, it is just an ordinary drink without any approved medicinal
She called for a closer collaboration between the media and the FDA, especially on “Consumer Education” saying “Regulation is a shared responsibility. The consumer needs to be empowered with relevant knowledge to make decisions as to what to buy, when to inform the Regulator of a non- compliance, etc. FDA can’t do it all alone. You can craft messages to your listeners to support the work that FDA does.”
The other area she called for collaboration was in the area of Market Surveillance, which she explained ensured that regulated products in shops and other outlets are wholesome. “We interact with retailers etc. and educate them on issues including storage to preserve the quality of the items. In this area, we also expect to collaborate with the media to ensure that wholesalers, distributors, retailers, etc. are well informed so as to ensure that they deal only in regulated products.”