The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) on Sunday, embarked on a rare mission of raiding over 25 illegal pesticides production factories at South Odorkor in Accra.
The raid, according to the GSA, was to arrest and close down all illegal production “factories” in that area.
At the end of the operation, 25 illegal factories, mostly operating in kiosks and metal containers, which also served as dwelling places of the producers, were closed down. The pesticides brands such as Lambda Power, Supper Killer, Kakyere Insecticides, Nopest -Rat Killer, Septonic, Super Killer, Peace Commando and Express Liquid Insecticide Spray were seized.
According to media reports, the five-hour operation, led by the Director General of the Ghana Standards Authority, Professor Alex Doodo, including officials the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the Ghana Police Service sent operators of the factories scampering for cover on seeing the law enforcement agencies approach.
But the team managed to lock up the retail and production outlets of all the products and gave notice of further investigations into the chemicals used in production of the pesticides to ascertain the level of danger these illegal activities pose to the public.
That, the team said, would enable the agencies to work and avert any health hazard that the illegal products may cause users of the uncertified products.
Professor Doodo told the Ghanaian Times that the action of the companies posed serious health issues to the residence hence the need to stop them before their activities got out of hand.
According to him, the chemicals used in the production process in the area could be likened to chemical weapons that could pose serious health challenges to the people and, therefore, they must be eliminated before it was too late.
“Some of the producers do not have permit to produce such products and do not even have the experience to undertake such ventures and wondered why such people should not be sent to jail as they have not been permitted by law to use such toxic chemicals in their business in residential areas”.
The Ghanaian Times agrees with the sentiments expressed by Prof. Doodo and supports the offenders must be arrested and severely punished for the harm they are causing society.
Although, we do not have evidence to support the sentiments expressed above, we are more than convinced that the illegal production of such pesticides by unlicensed producers would most likely pose health hazards.
We are however unhappy that the exercise had not started before now as these illegal producers have been around for some time now.
In fact, in most communities in Accra, these illegal producers could be seen roaming the streets with their products and doing brisk business with impunity. We wonder how many people may have been affect by these illegal products across the country.
While commending the GSA for taking the right steps, we encourage them to cast their net wider in other to cover more areas and stop the illegal activity.
We also hope that anyone arrested in connection with the unapproved production of the pesticides would be punished severely to serve as deterrent to others.