FDB Exposes Fake Drugs
6/15/2012 1:33:10 PM -
THE FOOD and Drug Board (FDB) has warned the general public to be wary of the food and drugs they buy on the market as most products are counterfeit or fake and pose a threat to the health of people in the country.
Counterfeit products, which are illegally sold on the market include penis and breast enlargement kits, Castle Bridge and Henkens Schnapps alcoholic beverages, Rough Rider condoms, insecticides, starkists Tuna, Mama Queen and African Queen Mackerel; Brown Gold Cocoa drink, spray starch and unwholesome chicken parts and turkey tails.
The rest are rice meant for feeding chickens, which are re-bagged for human consumption; Exeter Corned Beef, Coartem antibiotic, herbal concoctions containing paracetamol and valium and fake immune boosters.
Briefing members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament yesterday on the activities of the FDB, Dr. Stepken.K. Opuni, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Board indicated that such fake products had very little distinction from original ones on the market.
He disclosed that his outfit had impounded a product called 'Sign the Cheque' which is purportedly used by women to tighten their vagina.
He explained that women appear like virgins when they use the product and therefore men who have sex with such women are easily carried away and sign cheques for them after sexual intercourse.
The product, Dr. Opuni warned, contains lead which causes cancer of the cervix, cautioning that the use of penis enlargement and breast enlargement tools could make men impotent and cause breast cancer respectively.
His outfit, he disclosed, had seized over 400 of such breast and penis enlargement kits and cautioned the general public against labeling and inscriptions on consumables and reject product that do not have their labeling in English.
FDB, Dr. Opuni indicted, will soon embark on a project dubbed, 'Clean Market Project' to train vegetables and foodstuffs sellers on to how to hygienically handle food products.
According to him, such traders markets would be trained on what type of foodstuff and vegetables they should buy from producers.
The FDB boss used the opportunity to appeal to members of the Committee to advocate for funds for his outfit to carry out their mandate.
Dr. Opuni said at the moment the FDB has offices in all the regions throughout the country but would need more offices in the districts as well as the border posts to effectively check the smuggling of fake products in the country.
He also called on Parliament to expedite action on the passage of new legislation that would empower the board to effectively deal with issues of fake drugs and food products in the country.
It explained that the current regulatory framework was not effective in dealing with issues of fake drugs and food products.
'The influx of such products on the market exposes the public to many dangerous diseases,' he pointed out, calling for a concerted effort to address the problem.
According to Dr. Opuni, the current legislation did not impose stiff punishments to culprits who engaged in the manufacture and sale of such products.
The new FDB legislation, he said, is currently before parliament would make provisions to mete out stiffer punishment to perpetrators.
He hinted that under the new legislation, people behind the manufacture and sale of fake products on the market could be jailed from 15 to 25 years depending on the seriousness of their crimes.
The Chairman of PAC, Albert Kan-Dapaah, commended FDB for its efforts towards public health and safety.
He urged the Board to intensify its public education throughout the country and be more vigilant, especially at the border posts to check the smuggling of fake drugs and food items on the market.
By Awudu Mahama