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FDA cautions public against bleaching of children

BY: Shirley Asiedu Addo
hief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mrs. Delese Mimi Darko
hief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mrs. Delese Mimi Darko

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has cautioned the public against using toning lotions to bleach the skin of their children.

The authority said it was important for parents and guardians to be cautious in the lotions they applied on children because such products could, in the long term, have serious consequences on the children’s health.

 In an interaction with media personnel in Cape Coast on Friday, February 23, 2018, the Head of Cosmetics and Household Chemical Substances Department of the FDA, Mr Emmanuel Nkrumah, explained that the use of such lotions could cause skin cancer, liver and kidney problems in the long term.

 “Some parents unconsciously bleach the skin of their children with the application of certain bleaching lotions. Others do it on purpose to bleach the children. This is unhealthy, especially for the children,” he stated.

Uncertified pills

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Mr Nkrumah indicated that currently the FDA had not certified skin bleaching creams, tablets and pills on the market.

He said as far as the authority was concerned, no skin bleaching pill or tablet had been certified for sale on the local market, adding that anyone who took such tablets did so at his or her own risk.

In a bid to protect consumers, the FDA had commenced investigations into how such products entered the Ghanaian market, he said, and vowed that those who would be found culpable would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

 “The FDA cannot guarantee the safety and efficacy of such products and we, therefore, urge the public to be alert regarding such creams and tablets,” he said.

He expressed worry about the way some people mixed a number of creams, with the view to getting their skins toned within the shortest possible time, saying the practice was dangerous.

Mr Nkrumah said it was an offence to be in possession of such products, as well as banned cosmetics, adding that the FDA was embarking on surveillance to clamp down on such illegal cosmetics to protect public health and safety.

Media must comply

The Head of Communications at the FDA, Mr James Lartey, said the authority was working towards enforcing the restricted time of advertisement of alcoholic beverages on radio and television stations in the interest of children, since excessive exposure to the content of such advertisement would have an effect on them.

He said the FDA would continue to monitor the various radio and TV stations to ensure that the authority’s guidelines for advertisement on foods were complied with.

The Central Regional Manager of the FDA, Mr John Odai-Tettey, expressed the commitment of the authority to collaborate with the media as it continued its public educational campaign against uncertified products on the market.