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13.09.2006 Crime & Punishment

40,000 bags of imported rice seized

By Daily Graphic
40,000 bags of imported rice seized
LISTEN SEP 13, 2006

The Food and Drugs Board has seized about 40,000 bags of rice imported from the United States of America because part of the consignment is unwholesome.

The Deputy Chief Executive officer of the FDB, Food Division, Kwamena Van- Ess said that the board would do everything possible to ensure that whatever got to the market was good for human consumption.

He said the ship load of rice, which was about 40,000 bags and imported by CCCT Limited in Accra, was before they were discharged from the vessel.

He said an initial investigation conducted by the FDB also revealed that about 0.0 per cent of the sacks containing the rice had some inscriptions indicating that they were US rice meant for Iraq.

He stressed that the whole consignment was being kept in the company's warehouse at the Spintex Road, where the staff of the FDB were seriously monitoring it.

“If they need relabelling or repackaging, they will be done under the supervision of the board,” he pointed out.

Mr Van- Ess said for now the board did not suspect the company of any intention of sending the unwholesome rice to the market but it would not want to take chances.

He explained that the board had to allow the company to discharge the rice into its ware house because the owners of the vessel wanted to go back.

“We know the quantity involved, so there is no way anybody can take anything out,” he stated.

When asked what action the board intended to take, Mr Van- Ess said it would supervise CCCT to sort out the number of bags found to be good and allow them into the market.

He said the exercise was part of what he described as port control system whereby the FDB officials monitor control system where by the FDB officials' monitored food and drugs that came to the country through the ports.

The Public Affairs Director of CCCT, John Awuni, for his part, said it was not the intention of the company to serve the Ghanaian public with unwholesome food but what had happened was purely accidental.

He said such an incident sometimes occurred during importation and added that when it happened, the normal procedure was for the company to remove the unwholesome ones from the good ones.

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