FDA urges researchers to collaborate with regulators

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, has urged researchers to involve other industries and regulators in their areas of work, to benefit Ghanaians in their bid, to ensure effective risk communication principles.

Her advice comes on the back of an article titled “Alcohol in plastic dangerous… But FDA stamps them – Researcher”, attributed to Effah Baffo Gyamfi.

Gyamfi alleges in the publication that it was wrong for sachet water to be sold to the public after three days of production.

According to the publication, the inner part of the sachet becomes ‘slippery’ which makes the water unhygienic for human consumption however there was no mention of alcohol in the write up, this was stated in a public notice, yesterday, issued by FDA.

Mrs Darko said the FDA’s department that coordinated research and nutrition-related activities has extended invitation to all researchers to collaborate, encourage data sharing and work together to protect consumers.

“It must be emphasised that, with respect to health, the dissemination of research findings and the implementation of outcomes must be timely to benefit the target population,” she said.

Mrs Darko said the FDA has reaffirmed stringent regulatory procedures in place for the licensing of packaged water manufacturing facilities and the registration of the finished packaged water.

She said that, raw materials, packaging materials, and manufacturing processes were subjected to procedures to ensure that the finished products conformed to the Ghana standards for drinking water and mineral water.

With regards to alcoholic beverages packaged in plastics, Mrs Darko said the standard was prescribed in Section 7 (1) of the Ghana Standard for Bitters.

It states “The packaging materials should be made of substances which are safe, suitable for their intended use, and will not permit the absorption of moisture.”

Mr Darko: “They shall not impart any toxic substances or undesirable smell or taste to the product and be properly sealed airtight”.

However, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has the properties stipulated in Section 7(1) and was therefore suitable for the packaging of alcoholic products as it was not known to pose any health challenges when used in the packaging of alcoholic beverages.

She assured the public of its consistency in conducting periodic market surveillance and product quality analyses of products in circulation on the market.

“The public is strongly advised to patronise only registered FDA-regulated products and handle them with appropriate care and adhere to the recommended storage conditions, eliminating all exposures to the bare sun” Mrs Darko.

BY ANITA ANKRAH

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