A survey conducted by some postgraduate students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in four major markets, has revealed that some traders soak millipedes in palm oil to change its colour and taste.
The shocking revelation comes nearly two months after the Food and Drugs Authorty (FDA), said it was safe to consume palm oil, following the arrest of some producers who were mixing the product with Sudan IV, a cancer-causing agent.
Sudan IV is an industrial dye used in the colouration of plastics and other synthetic products.
The FDA, after series of interventions, declared palm oil safe for consumption in December last year, and advised consumers to only patronize palm oil from sellers with accredited badges from the Authority.
But the latest revelation from the survey by students of KNUST, should put patrons of palm oil products back on high alert
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says it has been notified of the results of the survey and has vowed to clamp down on food vendors who continue to adulterate food items on the market.
The Deputy Chief Executive of the FDA, John Odame Darkwa, assured that his outfit will monitor the vendors and stated that they will focus on the supply end of the palm oil trade.
According to him, “The essential thing is to make sure you tackle the supply end and the supply end are the producers.”
Mr. Darkwa further said the FDA will be collaborating with the market queens to flush out the individuals adulterating palm oil for sale.
“The market queens have also vowed to ensure that the people in their circles are also going to be held responsible” he stated.
The Public Health Act 851 of 2012, section 12, prohibits the adulteration of food items and Mr. Darkwa indicated that individuals caught will face prosecution,
“If you are found out, then the law must take its full course against you,” he warned.
Are millipedes poisonous?
Millipedes are not known to be poisonous, but many species have glands capable of producing irritating fluids that may cause allergic reactions to some individuals.
The defensive sprays of some millipedes also contain hydrochloric acid that can chemically burn the skin and cause long-term skin discoloration.
The only reported usage of millipedes as food comes from the Bobo people of Burkina Faso, who consume boiled and dried millipedes in tomato sauce.
By Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana