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21.05.2005 Business & Finance

FDB to set standards for saccharine use

By GNA

Aflao, May 21, GNA - The Food and Drugs Board is to set standards for the usage of saccharine as food additive in Ghana. For now, the Board thinks the additive, used by bakers and soft drinks producers especially, is wholesome.

Rev. Jonathan Martey, Head of Finance and Administration of the Board said this during an interaction with participants at a sensitisation workshop at Denu on Saturday for the Police, Customs and Environmental Health Workers on the enforcement of laws on the use of iodated salt in the country.

He said saccharine was safe but it was not known beyond which limit the popular additive, 600 times sweeter than sugar could, be unsafe. "What the FDB can do is to set standards in its usage and bakers and others educated to follow it," Rev. Martey said.

He called for enhanced collaboration of the security services with the FDB to enforce the law on the movement and use of salt in the country saying that the successful implementation of the law was in the interest of individuals and the country at large.

Rev Martey urged participants, drawn from the Ketu and Keta districts to collaborate with the FDB in the education about and enforcement of the law.

Paa Nii Quaye, Senior Regulatory Officer of the FDB said Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) manifest in goitre, low intelligence and birth weight as well as miscarriages.

He said since there was the need for a daily intake of the iodine for good health, lacing it with salt was the best option for Ghana. Paa Nii Quaye urged parents to switch over from the use of raw salt to iodated salt in their homes.

He said the enforcement of the law, which begins in July this year and involved controlling the movement of raw salt, except those properly certified was, expected the result in 90 per cent success in implementation by the end of this year.

Paa Nii Quaye explained that suggestions to dispense iodine in capsules in exercises similar to the national immunization exercise might not be feasible since iodine was to be taken in small doses daily. Mr Kwame Dei Asamoah Okyere, Assistant Regulatory officer of the FDB who took participants through practical lessons in testing salt for iodine content asked them to be vigilant to avoid being outwitted by dealers and transporters.

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