Upper West Shea Butter not contaminated – FDA

The Upper West regional office of the Food and Drugs Authority has stated that Shea butter from the region is not contaminated as reported by some media houses.

The comment from the FDA comes after a section of the media reported that Shea butter from two communities in the Wa Municipality, Kperisi and Gulli have been contaminated by primiphos methyl a chemical used by AngloGold Ashanti in their malaria control program.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum organized by the Upper West regional directorate of the Ghana Health Service, the regional director of the FDA Godwin Akurugu said the amount of primiphos methyl allegedly found in the Shea butter from the two communities is way below the danger levels internationally.

According to him, tests conducted by the FDA on the Shea butter from the area indicated that it was safe for consumption.

Also speaking at the forum, the regional boss of the Environmental Protection Agency Zainabu Wasai-King stressed that the chemical used by AGAMAL for the spraying exercise has been approved by the agency contrary to the report by the GNA that it was not approved.

She called on the media to always cross check their facts before publishing them.

Demanding a retraction of the story by the GNA, the regional director of the ministry of Food and Agriculture Kweku Mintah Forjour said, the publication has cast a slur on the image of the region.

He said, “This publication is going to affect 20 years of work promoting primiphos methyl as a storage chemical and this will also affect the livelihoods of the women in the upper West region as people will be skeptical when buying Shea butter from here”.

Background

A GNA report last week had it that Shea butter from two communities Kperisi and Gulli has been contaminated by primiphos methyl which is used by the Anglo Gold Malaria Program to spray households against the spread of mosquitoes.

This chemical, according to an exporter of Shea butter caused their products to be rejected by buyers in Germany.

This led the company to petition government to stop AGAMAL from continuing their work in the communities affected.

At the stakeholders forum, the Regional Director of the Food and Drugs Authority Godwin Akurugu disclosed that,  the amount of chemical found in the Shea butter is not harmful and it is acceptable per international standards.

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