05.05.2004 Regional News

Satchet water producers in C/R told to regularise their operations

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Cape Coast, May 5, GNA- Mr George Pentsil, Food and Drugs Board (FDB) zonal officer in-charge of the Western and Central regions, on Wednesday gave all satchet water producers in the central region one month to regularise their operations with the FDB, to avoid prosecution and closure of their factories.

He gave the ultimatum at a meeting with satchet-water producers from the municipality, Elmina, Saltpond and Mankessim at Cape Coast. The meeting, which was also attended by two automatic filling machine manufacturers, was aimed at creating awareness about the need for them to produce water under hygienic conditions.

The zonal officer stressed that it was necessary for them to register with the board to enable it monitor their activities to ensure that they operate within the acceptable set standards.

Mr Pentsil observed that the industry was growing at an alarming rate, and it was therefore imperative for the FDB, to ensure that whatever the producers put on the market was safe for human consumption. The zonal officer explained that PNDC law 305 of 1992 vested in the FDB the power to control the production distribution and advertisement of satchet water. He expressed concern that a post market survey conducted recently by the FDB indicated that a large number of the producers are operating illegally, and told them that offenders could be liable to a fine of five million cedis, coupled with the closure of their factories.

Mr Vigil Prah-Ashun, the zonal regulatory officer told them that unwholesome satchet water, could even cause death, if it contains harmful substances.

It is in the light of this, that it behoves on the board to train and guide them to produce under hygienic conditions, he added. Mr Elvis Amoasah, secretary of the association, appealed to his colleagues to register with the association, so that the "bad nuts" in the industry, could be exposed.

"This is the only way we can protect the image of the industry and ensure the production of good and safe water for the consuming public", he emphasised.

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