The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) last Monday confiscated large quantities of palm oil adulterated with dye from 10 major markets in Accra and Tema.
The products – which were being sold at the Mallam Atta, Dome, Dansoman, Agbogbloshie and Kaneshie markets, all in Accra, as well as other markets in Tema – were said to have been adulterated with Sudan IV, an industrial dye used in the colouration of plastics and other synthetic products.
As a result of the adulteration of Ghana’s palm oil, the country is losing out due to a ban on palm oil export from the country to the European market.
While news of the adulteration of the palm oil, which is used in almost all homes in the country, is very alarming, the fact that the practice has been detected and some suspects arrested to aid investigations is gladdening.
We laud the FDA for doing a good job of unearthing the shady deals of people so greedy for gain that they do not care if others die in the process.
Adulteration of food items such as flour of all sorts, powdered pepper and dough; grains such as rice; pastes such as groundnut paste; oil, water and a host of others, are practices that have gone on at food joints and markets for many years.
While some sellers adulterate oils and liquids such as palm oil to enhance and maintain their colour to make them more appealing to consumers, others also add other things, be they food or not, to pastes and flour or grains in order to make more revenue from their sale by cashing in on unsuspecting consumers and customers.
But this practice, according to experts, has the tendency to cause a lot of injury to the health of consumers and can lead to unexplained cancers.
The adulteration of foods ultimately affects the health of the people who consume them. The Daily Graphic therefore urges agencies tasked with bringing culprits to book, such as the FDA, not to rest on their oars.
The various security agencies should also collaborate to weed out from our markets and food joints, those engaged in the wicked practice. Workers at such food-production places also owe it to themselves and the community they live in to expose all those involved in the mixing of food with chemicals and other things to either enhance its colour and appeal or to increase its volume for gain.
We ask that the arrested 22 dealers suspected to be involved in the adulteration of the palm oil before retailing them must be made to expose all others they are in league with and all found culpable given stiff punishment to nip the practice in the bud.
A healthy people make a healthy nation and all efforts must be made to ensure that Ghana has a healthy population.