The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is warning against the consumption of palm oil sold on the market across the country.
Don't buy palm oil at Accra markets - FDA warns
The Authority has currently heightened its market surveillance after discovering oil samples picked from ten markets in the Greater Accra Region contained highly dangerous textile dye which causes cancer.
The FDA in a statement said it randomly sampled 50 palm oil.
“The results showed that 98% of the palm oil tested positive to Sudan IV dye. Following up, the FDA on Tuesday, 20th October, 2015 in collaboration with the Narcotics Division of the Ghana Police Service apprehended some dealers suspected to be involved in this practice and confiscated the products, which were also analysed and found to contain Sudan III and Sudan IV dyes, leading to the arrest of 22 market women and a driver.”
The markets are: Mallam market, MallamAtta market, Dome market, Dansoman market, Agbogbloshie market, Kaneshie market, Tema community 1 market, Ashaiman market, Madina market and Makola No.2 market.
Head of Food Safety Management Department at the FDA, Maria Johnson insisted people should not buy or consume palm oil on the Ghanaian market, until FDA completely clears the market of the dangerous oil.
She told Mamavi Owusu-Aboagye on JoyNews AM Show on MultiTV that “unfortunately you cannot tell” which oil is contaminated by merely looking at the product.
The issue as it stands now is “dicey” as well as “scary and difficult”, she acknowledged.
Until the market is cleared of the poisonous substance, Maria proposed that people alternatively scoop the palm oil on their palm soup or use other cooking oil.
Meanwhile some vendors who were arrested for allegedly “selling food containing poisonous substance” are being investigated by the Police CID and would be prosecuted soon, Maria said.
Joy News’ Ama Cudjoe’s visit to some market centres indicate that buyers are skeptical and market is very slow largely due to the FDA alert.
She confirmed that it is highly impossible to tell which palm oil is contaminated with your naked eyes.
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