The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has lifted the temporary ban on the sale of Adonko Bitters, a local alcoholic beverage. The decision, according to the FDA, was informed by compliance with its directives by the Angel Group of Companies, producers of Adonko Bitters.
Additionally, the FDA said, the producers of the beverage had expressed its willingness to cooperate with the authority to safeguard public health and safety.
“In view of the company’s compliance with the directives and follow-up compliance with other regulatory directives issued and formally informing the Authority of its willingness to co-operate with the FDA to safeguard public health and safety, the suspension has been lifted effective Friday, May 12, 2017,” the Head of Communications and Public Education of the FDA, Mr James Lartey, confirmed in an interview.
Early this month, the FDA directed the Angel Group of Companies to recall Adonko Bitters from the market and imposed a GH¢25,000 fine on the company.
The authority also asked the company to furnish the FDA with details of the recall plan and subsequently, the progress of the plan.
The action of the FDA followed a concert organised by the beverage company at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi on Easter Monday, April 17, 2017, that turned into a drinking spree, leading to a situation where many youth and minors passed out after the excessive intake of Adonko Bitters.
A day after the concert, the drunken youth could still be seen lying on the pitch either gasping for breath or suffering from serious hangover.
FDA to monitor
Mr Lartey explained that as part of its technical support activities to industry, the Food Industrial Support Services Department of the FDA would continue to work with the Angel Group of Companies to ensure consistency in meeting regulatory requirements.
He said the FDA would continue to monitor the activities of the company to ensure its compliance with the requisite provisions of the Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851.
Caution to producers
Mr Lartey used the opportunity to caution companies that sought approval for their products from the FDA to maintain what had been approved “and not to change them on your own.”
He insisted that anytime such companies wanted to alter or change their labels and other specific information that had already been approved; they needed to revert to the authority, adding that anything short of that would amount to breaching the Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851.
“Secondly, they are supposed to adhere to advertising regulations, making sure that all adverts are approved by the FDA before they go ahead to publish it,” Mr Lartey told the Daily Graphic.
Reaction from Adonko Bitters
Reacting to the lifting of the suspension, the Sales and Marketing Manager of Adonko Bitters Ltd, Mr Samuel Yaw Amankwa, expressed joy, saying, “We received it with great joy” and thanked the FDA, for the lifting of the suspension, assuring the authority that the company would abide by the regulations governing its operations.
He said the product was still wholesome, stressing that the product was suspended not because of its content, but that it was because of its inability to protect young ones, including minors, and pledged to guard against such situations in the future.
Mr Amankwa cautioned the public not to sell empty bottles of its products to anyone who made such a request, asking the public to report such people to the company, adding that the company sold its products in the bottles.