Use of sudeen to lace red oil… FDA warns of serious health risk to consumers

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has reiterated that the consumption of adulterated palm oil posed a serious health risk to consumers.

This caution came at the backdrop of reports that most palm oil also known as red oil sold in local markets has been adulterated with Sudan dye also known as “sudeen.”

The Head of Food Borne-Disease Surveillance of FDA, Mr Benjamin Osei Tutu said the sudeen was a deadly one which can cause leukemia, cancer, liver and kidney diseases.

Mr Tutu explained that about 98 per cent of palm oil sold in various markets has been mixed with the substances.

Sudeen, he explained, comprised a group of compounds which are used to colour hydrocarbon solvents, dresses, fats, waxes, shoes, and floor polishes.

According to Mr Tutu, the sudeen was a harmful substance to individuals’ health and urged market women at the various markets to stop its use.

These came to light when Mr Tutu led officials of the FDA to educate some market women at the Malata Market in Accra, on Tuesday. He advised to stop the use of sudeen to lace their red oil.

Mr Tutu asked the traders to be mindful of those they buy their products from by ensuring the oil were not unwholesome.

“We are still hammering on this adulteration procedure because it is deadly and needs to be stopped, for now we are sensitising the market women on the dangers but soon those who indulge in the practice will be arrested and prosecuted.”

The Acting Director for Food Safety and Consumer Education, MrsFaustinaAtupra, urged the market women to get details of their suppliers, so that should there be criminal cases, they could be held liable.

“If the vendor is not the person putting in the harmful substances, they should be able to provide details of their suppliers so that they would be arrested instead of the vendors.”

Mrs Atupra encouraged the market women to tell their suppliers to allow their palm fruit to fully ripe and ready for use before using it as oil in order not to produce oil with a very light colour which would require the sudeen as supplement.

The market leader of Malata market, Mrs Veronica Apenuvor, assured FDA that, though the market women were not involved in the process of adulteration, they would make sure every oil they sold would be safe for human consumption.

She, therefore, urged the market women to reveal to FDA details of their suppliers committing such acts, so they could be arrested for their deeds.

“If the CID comes to arrest you the market woman, you should be able to reveal to them your suppliers, so that they would be arrested instead”.

BY ANITA ANKRAH

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