NGO chases FDA for ‘banku deaths’ report

General News of Wednesday, 14 March 2018



Six people are reported to have died after eating food prepared with the corn flour

Consumer Advocacy Centre (CAC), a Non-Governmental Organisation, is on the neck of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to make public, the results of laboratory tests conducted on the corn flour which allegedly killed some persons Akakpokope in the South Tongu district of the Volta Region.

According to the Corporate Affairs Director of CAC, Benjamin Asumang, the FDA should have, by now, issued a public alert on the “killer food substance”, especially when banku is consumed across the country.

“Why has the FDA not come out with the results days after the incident. Why are they making it look like it is rocket science”, he asked.

At least six persons from two families have been reported dead after they bought the flour from a corn mill operator to prepare popular ‘Akple’ and ‘Banku’ meals with okro soup.

The victims started complaining of stomach upset shortly after eating the food on Thursday, March 01, 2018.

The Food and Drugs Authority subsequently announced that it has dispatched a team to the community to try and identify the source of the problem, amidst widespread panic among residents.

But the Authority is yet to come out with the test results to unravel the mystery behind the unfortunate deaths.

Speaking on Adom FM’s morning show Dwaso Nsem Wednesday, Benjamin Asumang accused the FDA of not attaching seriousness to the matter, more than a week after collecting the samples.

“We demand that the FDA issues a public alert in order to inform the general public and, in particular, consumers of corn dough, to allay the fears of the general public,” he added.

Mr. Asumang also called on the “FDA to be more responsive in such matters with a rapid alert system in such suspected case of food poisoning.”

In a quick rebuttal, however, Head of Food Division at FDA, Mrs. Issabella Mansa Agrah said they could not be blamed for the delay.

She explained that, though they have conducted some tests on the samples of the floor taken from Akakpokope, it is still inconclusive.

“It will take a longer time to ascertain the cause of death because we are collaborating with other agencies for the results” she stated.

Mrs. Issabella Mansa Agrah appealed for calm as the FDA works to get accurate results to avert such unfortunate deaths.

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