The attention of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has been drawn to a circulation on Social Media of a documentary about THE PRODUCTION OF TOMATO PASTE IN CHINA. The video condemns the production of tomato concentrate mixed with other ingredients found on the Ghanaian market.
The FDA however wishes to inform the general public that there are two variations of tomato concentrate products: Tomato Paste and Tomato Mix.
According to the Ghana Standards GS 246:2019, Tomato Paste is tomato concentrate to which salt and other suitable seasoning ingredients may be added whiles, Tomato Mix per the Ghana Standards GS 1203:2018, is tomato concentrate and/or tomato powder (granules) to which water, salt, starch, dietary fibre and other optional ingredients mentioned in Clause 5.1.2 are added.
With regards to labelling of these products in Ghana, the FDA has a separate Guideline for Labelling of Tomato Mix and Seasoned Tomato Mix - Tomato Seasoning Mix which requires quantitative declaration in percentages of tomato and of all ingredients mentioned above if used in production of the product.
The general public is assured that all products registered by the FDA, including tomato paste and tomato mix are safe.
The current FDA regulatory measures being implemented to ensure this include sampling and testing of all batches of tomato paste and tomato mix products locally manufactured in and imported into the country before clearance as prescribed by standards and Labelling Guidelines.
In addition, periodic Market Surveillance is done on all FDA regulated products including Tomato Paste and Tomato Mix to ensure compliance to these standards.
The FDA wishes to further state that Gino, a brand mentioned in the documentary, officially ceased the importation of Tomato Paste onto the Ghanaian Market and from November 2018 only imports bulk tomato concentrate for the production of "GINO TOMATO MIX" locally.
The FDA reiterates that your well-being remains our priority.
JAMES LARTEY (MR)
AG. HEAD, COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC EDUCATION
FOR: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The FDA exists to protect public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, food, biological products, cosmetics, medical devices, household chemical substances, tobacco and the conduct of clinical trials in the country.