Food & Drugs Authority seizes mixed palm oil from 10 Accra markets

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Large quantities of mixed palm oil have been seized by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) 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, were said to have been adulterated with Sudan IV, an industrial dye used in the colouration of plastics and other synthetic products.

Large quantities of the oil were also seized at the Madina, Makola No 2, Tema Community One and Ashaiman markets.

Officials of the FDA said initial laboratory analyses conducted on samples of the adulterated oil showed active dye (sudee) substance of about 98 per cent.

Sudan IV dye, according to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Mr Hudu Mogtari, had the potential of causing cancer when mixed with food, and as such constituted a risk to public health.

Palm oil was mixed with the dye, he indicated, to enhance and maintain its colour to make it more appealing to consumers.

Mr Mogtari told the Daily Graphic in Accra that following a tip-off, the FDA, in collaboration with the Narcotics Division of the Police Service, conducted swoops in the markets.

He said the adulteration of the product had led to a ban on palm oil export from Ghana to the European market, which he said had considerably affected non-traditional export earnings from the product.

The FDA has assured that, they would continue to collaborate with the Police Service to clamp down on perpetrators whose action could endanger public health, he further appealed to the public to contact the FDA with useful information that would help it to carry out its mandate of protecting public health and safety.

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