Business News of Wednesday, 7 March 2018
The Food & Drugs Authority (FDA) has disclosed that it is going to fully implement its directives on dealing drastically with importers and sellers of skin bleaching and other unapproved products.
According to the FDA, they are ready to go at every length to ensure directives are complied with, including prosecution where necessary.
The Volta Regional Director of the FDA, Eugene Addo, gave the caution in Ho recently during a media briefing on the activities of the authority.
He explained that the authority will no more delay in ensuring compliance as it is in the supreme interest of the Ghanaian people.
In 2006, the FDA issued a directive which was reviewed in January 2017 to importers, manufacturers, distributors and others to avoid dealing in skin bleaching products.
Recently, the authority also came out with a restriction time of airing advertisements of alcoholic beverages on radio and television from 6:00am-8:00pm, effective January 1, 2018.
However, those directives are yet to be fully implemented.
The Head of Cosmetics & Household Chemicals at FDA, Emmanuel Nkrumah, advised the public, especially the youth, to desist from using unapproved products to bleach their skin as this method has dire consequences.
He said the authority is not against skin lightening or toning (as others may refer to it) but it has realised that “people resort to other products that are harmful, especially mixing different kinds of creams for certain results.”
Mr Nkrumah explained that these products suppress the development of melanin that prevents the penetration of UV light into the skin, thus, exposing the skin to all kinds of infections.
He warned that long-term effects of these unapproved products on the body include liver disease, kidney disease, skin cancer, skin thinning, body odour, stretch marks and other skin infections and called on the media to join the campaign against the practice.
James Lartey, Head of Communications & Public Education at FDA, disclosed that the media has a role to play by broadcasting the alcoholic beverage advertisements within the specified time to reduce exposure of the products to persons below the legal age of drinking.
He tasked the media to ensure products they air are registered and approved by the FDA, and to avoid airing advertisements for the treatment of specified diseases such as “sexually transmitted disease, diseases of the reproductive health, diabetes, fibroid, obesity, cancer, alcoholism, infertility, sexual impotence, prostrate diseases, paralysis and others.”
Mr Lartey revealed that monitoring of airwaves had begun and advised the media and advertisers of FDA regulated products to comply with the provisions in the Public Health Act 2012, Act 851 in order to avoid sanctions.