It is unusual to hear a demining story on a Ghanaian staple food like the one that was said about palm oil on Monday, by the Food and Drugs Authority (F.D.A.)

The FDA, according to media reports, warned the public against the purchase of, and consumption of palm oil sold in markets across the country.

Their reason is that they have uncovered a cabal of traders in 10 markets in the Greater Accra region, whose oil samples contained dangerous textile dye which causes cancer.

According to the FDA, the samples showed that they contained foreign materials and were being sold to unsuspecting consumers in 10 community markets in Accra.

The FDA broke this shocking news to Ghanaians who all along, thought that they were consuming edible oil used to prepare numerous meals.

The Times is alarmed that the analysis undertaken by the FDA revealed that the chemical used by the unscrupulous traders could cause cancer to consumers.

The Susan IV dyes are known to be chemicals used in the textile industry and if, indeed, it is the case that these traders deliberately used them, then they should be made to answer.

Our concern is that the findings had taken too long to come out, because millions of consumers might have consumed the poisonous palm oil over a long period.

Perhaps, many people might have died as a result of consuming these chemical palm oil.

We regret that the culprits were not arrested much earlier, but we congratulate the FDA and the police for the arrests, nonetheless.

We, however, wish to caution that while we pursue those who are on a mission to make cheap money by adulterating the palm oil, we must be careful not to create fear and panic about palm oil in Ghana.

Without doubt, the palm oil industry provides jobs, and is described as the miracle crop because of its nutrient value and is cheap to produce, compared to the production of other competitor oils.

We wish to caution that while pursuing the unscrupulous traders and their pay masters, we must continue the fight to sanitise the industry by weeding out the miscreants.

We should do so, mindful of the potential harm that could be caused to the palm oil industry.

We wish to appeal to the security authorities to deal drastically with all the traders caught with the poisonous palm oil, to serve as deterrent to others.

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