Here comes Christmas; here comes fake products

On special occasions such as Christmas, which is just barely two months away, a variety of products are imported into the country for consumption.

All over the country, the markets usually become saturated with an assortment of goods – many of which are found to be sub-standard, unwholesome or both.

The availability of increased array of products on the market can be said to be good since it gives consumers the opportunity to select or make choices from a pool of different categories of consumables. The problem, however, is that many of the goods on the market tend to be unwholesome, deceiving consumers to buy things that they otherwise would not be willing to buy.

Expiry dates, for example, are important because they help us to determine, for health and safety reasons, whether or not products are fit for consumption. In this regard, consumers must keep away from expiry dates suspected to have been insidiously tampered with. In other words, goods should never be purchased on the least suspicion – rightly or wrongly, that the original manufacture and expiry dates have been tampered with.

The consumer is usually influenced by a number of factors, including taste, income, durability, product quality and so on. However, generally, consumers tend to look for products that are comparatively cheaper so as to be able to save money for other pressing needs. This is understandable because resources are limited and cannot satisfy all needs at a time.

In spite of this, it is important for everyone to pay attention to quality issues when purchasing consumer goods. Adherence to quality products is vital because apart from guaranteeing health and safety, it also ensures protection of the environment.

The interest in or the desire for huge profit margins has influenced many businessmen and women to go in for sub-standard products – the prices of which are usually reduced to entice purchases from unsuspecting consumers.

The danger with this irresponsible behaviour is that it tends to threaten the lives of everyone in the country, including the lives of the relations of even those who sell the bad products. This means that the life of every person is put at risk through the sale of shoddy goods on the market.

Looking at the business culture of many business men and women in Ghana today, who are import-driven, there is the need to take a critical look at our imports. The undesirable importation of fake and substandard products onto the Ghanaian market is not a new phenomenon.

What is new, however, is that in recent times, the practice has assumed alarming and dangerous dimensions in its obnoxious form, complexity and intensity as is the case in the dumping of toxic waste on the shores of unsuspecting countries.

This detestable phenomenon tends to have some negative effects on the individual consumer and the nation as a whole.

Fighting against this situation, including locally-produced sub-standard products, also calls for the collective efforts of all institutions and individuals, particularly regulatory bodies and the Ghana Standards Authority as well as consumers as a whole.

No matter the efforts made by the regulatory bodies, if the consumer takes things for granted, the desired result in the country may not be achieved. It is, therefore, important for all consumers to be alert at this time of the year when all kinds of products are being put on the market for sale to the public.

Every person in the country must be quality-conscious at all times so as not to be deceived by the outward decorative and appealing appearances of goods found in the market.

Examined from this perspective, the safety of consumers can be guaranteed without deceit from anyone.

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