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30.07.2004 General News

FDB urged to enforce use of iodated salt

By GNA

Accra, July 30, GNA- Professor Ebenezer Asibey-Berko, Head of the Nutrition and Food Science Department of the University of Ghana, Legon, on Friday said the law banning the use of non-iodated salt was not being enforced and this had led to the widespread use of the salt.

He said Ghana passed legislation, in 1996 to enforce the iodisation of salt. However, eight years now, only about half of the country's newborn children were being protected to some degree against mental impairment by the use of iodated salt.

Prof. Asibey-Berko was speaking at a media interaction on Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) in Accra organised by UNICEF.

He said mental impairment, goitre, stillbirths, low birth rates and high infant deaths were some problems associated with IDD. Prof. Asibey-Berko said an IDD environment affected education since it was linked to dropout rates in schools and under-utilisation of school facilities.

"The progress towards creating a Golden Age of Business would be delayed if there are no capable people to lead us into such as era," he said.

He said he was unhappy that majority of people working in the salt industry at the Ada area were doing very little to put iodised salt on the market.

Prof. Asibey-Berko commended Unilever and PANBROS companies for doing a lot in addressing IDD issues through the production of iodated salt.

Participants at the meeting urged the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) to do more to enforce the law on the use of iodated salt to ensure proper development of children.

UNICEF estimates that intellectual impairment of 120,000 children born in the country each year is traced to iodine deficiency in pregnancy.

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