The Ashanti Regional Office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), in collaboration with the Police, has arrested six persons in the Kumasi metropolis for dealing in fake herbal products.
The swoop, which targeted dealers in unregistered herbal products, formed part of routine market surveillance conducted by the Authority to clamp down on perpetrators.
The culprits, who have all been granted bail pending further investigations, include two community information centre operators and four herbal product dealers.
Mr. John Laryea Odai-Tettey, the Regional Head of the FDA, speaking to the media after the exercise, said the Public Health Act, 2012 mandated the FDA to ensure food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, chemical substances, blood, blood products, and tobacco were wholesome for public consumption.
He said the Authority had the responsibility to ensure the safety and quality and standards of such products as prescribed by the Act.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that products under our regulation and being sold for public consumption and use are registered, and that is why we embark on market surveillance to check the safety of the products,” he noted. He said beyond the registration of the regulated products, his outfit had the duty to keep an eye on the market to fish out persons producing sub-standard versions of registered products.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people do not go to accredited health facilities to seek healthcare, but rather patronise some of these products without verifying their safety,” he pointed out.
Mr Odai-Tettey said the activities of the perpetrators were inimical to public safety and called on the public to support the FDA to flush out such miscreants for the good of the general population.
He said doors of the FDA were opened to manufacturers of herbal and other regulated products to submit their products for scrutiny to ensure they were safe for public consumption.
He said failure by manufacturers to submit their products for verification amounted to a violation of the Act and cautioned that the FDA would go after such recalcitrant manufacturers in the interest of public health.
He advised the public to patronise products from registered and recognised dealers such as pharmacies and licensed over-the-counter chemical sellers for their own safety.
Wholesalers and retailers of herbal products must also ensure they purchase from licensed manufacturers in order not to be victims of the operations of the FDA, he stated.