Some palm oil traders at the Madina market have denied reports their product is adulterated with cancer-causing substances.
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.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has therefore warned against the consumption of palm oil sold on the market across the country.
On a visit to the Madina Market Tuesday, several of the palm oil traders told pulse.com.gh that the situation is taking a huge toll on their business.
President of the Palm Oil Sellers association at the Madina market, Sandra Danso told Pulse.com.gh that she has been having sleepless nights ever since she heard the news.
"Previously, I bring about 25 jelly cans of the product into the market. But ever since the news broke, I have been bringing only 10. Even with that, nobody has come to buy," she said.
She however said other traders who troop to Madina market to sell palm oil could be the ones involved in the illegal practice.
"Our main challenge is, during market days here at Madina market, other traders of the palm oil come here to also sell their product. They could be the ones involved in the illegal practice. We have no hand in any illegal trade," she added.
Maame Fante is the owner of KAYA-ATEMUDA palm oil. Seated in front of her stall, she appears to have lost all hope about the situation.
She said for 25 years now of being in this trade, none of her customers have ever complained about her product.
"We have no idea that the product is being adulterated. We always go to Kade for our product. What the FDA is saying is not true. There is no way I can sell a fake product to the public, because that is what I also feed on with my children. God will even judge me if I do that," she said.
Maame Fante, who believed the reports are without basis, has urged the FDA to come back for another test of the product.
"FDA can come back and do another test on the product. Ever since I came here this morning, only one customer has come to ask about the product. She was reluctant to buy because of the news. I even wanted to give it to her for free, but was hesitant," she said.
"We are therefore pleading with government to have a second look at the situation. Else, our children will suffer; our businesses will be hugely affected," Maame Fante added.
Meanwhile, some consumers have expressed mixed reactions about the news. Some, who expressed fear about the development, has said they are going to be selective in their purchase of palm oil.
Others have also stated that they are unperturbed as this is not the first time they are hearing about such news.
"I am not really surprised about the news. This has been ongoing for some time now. So I have a dealer in the village who supplies me with palm oil. I will continue to buy palm oil from that dealer," a consumer told Pulse.com.gh.
Meanwhile, the President of policy think tank IMANI, Franklin Cudjoe has questioned the basis upon which the Food and Drugs Authority is warning against the consumption of palm oil sold on the market across the country.
According to him, the FDA is only creating fear and panic considering its arguments are only based on a randomly sampled 50 palm oil.
"All palm oil on the market is not sourced from one producer. So, before the FDA comes out with such alarmist announcements, they should have done extra work to identify the sources of this unwholesome product, go further to list trusted and well organised plantations and processing companies whose products consumers can rely on in the mean time so as not destroy the market for wholesome palm oil," Franklin Cudjoe added.