Mr Kwaku Agyemang Manu, the Minister of Health, has charged the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to take a look at all advertisements, especially those on herbal medicines, to know whether they have been approved by the Authority.
He said it was critical that advertisements on herbal medicines looked at again in view of the claims that were made within those adverts.
“It is worrying that almost every radio or TV station do air advertisements on herbal medicines and I wonder whether those adverts have been approved by the FDA in view of the claims that are made within those adverts.
“Let us remember that advertisements are very influential and have the potential of affecting listeners positively or negatively. Therefore, a misleading advertisement can have serious repercussions,” the Heath Minister said in a speech read on his behalf during the unveiling of the new FDA logo in Accra on Tuesday.
The launch of the FDA’s new logo was to give the Authority a new corporate identity towards effective regulation of food safety and public health.
Mr Agyeman Manu said in rebranding itself, the FDA, should consider it as one of their major projects, and liaise with relevant institutions like the Advertising Association of Ghana, the National Media Commission, the Ghana Journalists Association, the Ghana Independent Broadcasting Association, the BNI, the Police and other relevant institutions, to deal with the menace of all manner of advertisements on herbal medicine.
He also called on the Authority to ensure an effective post market surveillance, so as to ensure that regulated products on the market were safe, efficacious and of good quality in spite of the porous borders.
He has meanwhile, commended the FDA for consistently alerting the general public on products found on the market either to be a counterfeit, substandard, unwholesome, or problematic in a way through the media.
“Again, this is an institution that has been doing public education through the media, in schools, churches, mosque, market places and anyway the opportunity brings itself.
“Also, this is an institution that has been working hand in hand with the security agencies especially the Police to effect arrest of persons in practices that have the potential of endangering public health and safety with respect to their mandate.”
The Health Minister said the FDA had also ensured that smoking at public places was minimized and that was evidenced even at the Kotoka International Airport, where even passengers who lands from time to time were warned not to smoke in the area except at designated places.
He gave the assurance to the FDA of government’s full support, logistic-wise, to ensure that the Authority fulfilled its mandate appropriately by ensuring the protection of public health and safety at all times.
On her part, the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, who unveiled the logo, also expressed concern over the littering of sachet water plastic waste around the country, saying, that continues to pollutes the environment.
“If we don’t act now to stop this pollution, the future of our planet would be jeopardized. We must make every effort to Reduce, Recycle and Reuse plastics and plastic materials,” she stated.
She called on all stakeholders and partners of the FDA, to embrace the opportunities that this new brand presents and be counted as true partners in the development of such a vital institution.
She expressed the hope that the new logo would be accepted by the Ghanaian public, whose interest, the FDA seeks to protect, and that stakeholders and partners, would also connect to and reinforce the values underpinning the new message of the Authority.