FDA ORGANISES REGIONAL MEDIA SENSITIZATION PROGRAMMES ON THE LEGAL PROVISION ON ADVERTISEMENTS AND DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH SKIN BLEACHING

The FDA, as part of its mandate to ensure public health and safety has embarked on a series of regional media sensitization tours to engage the media on issues pertaining to illegal advertisements and the use of unapproved cosmetic products.

The Head of Communication and Public Education Department of the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), Mr. James Lartey, has reminded the media and advertisers of all FDA regulated products (Food, Drugs, Cosmetics, Medical Devices, Household Chemicals and Tobacco) of the provisions in the Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851, on the advertisement of their products.

Mr. Lartey made this call during a regional sensitization programme in the Western, Central and Volta Regions to ensure the Restricted Time for the Advertisement of Alcoholic Beverages and the diseases for which advertisement is prohibited are complied with.

He said section 100 (1) and (2) of the Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851 provides that: “A person shall not advertise a food as a preventive or cure for a disease, disorder or an abnormal physical state” and “A person shall not advertise food unless the advertisement has been approved by the Authority.”

Making further references to section 114 (1) and (2) of the Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851 Mr. Lartey said, “A person shall not advertise a drug, a herbal medicinal product, cosmetic, medical device or household chemical substance to the general public as a treatment, preventive or cure for a disease, disorder or an abnormal physical state, unless the advertisement has been approved by the Authority” and “Despite subsection (1) a person shall not advertise a drug, a herbal medicinal product, medical device or cosmetic for treatment or cure for diseases specified in the Fifth Schedule.

The diseases in the Fifth Schedule are Alcoholism, Amenorrhoea, Appendicitis, Arteriosclerosis, Asthma, Bladder Stones, Blindness, Cancer, Convulsion, Deafness, Diabetes, Diphtheria, Diseases of the reproductive organ, and Dropsy, The others are Epilepsy or fits, Erysipelas, Fibroid, Gallstones, Goitre. Heart disease, Hernia or rupture, Hypertension, Infertility, Kidney failure, Kidney stones, Leprosy, Leukemia, Locomotortazy, Systemic Lupus Erythematosis, Mental disorders, Nephritis or Bright’s disease, Obesity and Paralysis. The Fifth Schedule diseases also include Pleurisy, Pneumonia, Poliomyeltis, Prostate diseases, Scarlet fever, Septicaemia, Sexual impotence, Smallpox, Tetanus or lock-jaw, Trachoma and Tuberculosis.

He also reiterated the FDA’s determination to enforce the restricted time of advertising alcoholic beverages on television and radio stations as provided for in the FDA’s guidelines for the Advertisements on Foods (Section 3.2.6) and specifically the requirements for advertisements of alcoholic beverages which provides that “Radio and Television advertisements shall not be aired between the hours of 6:00 am and 8:00 pm.”

He further noted that the restriction on alcohol advertisements is to protect public health and safety especially, persons under the legal drinking age.

Some countries that have banned the advertisements of alcoholic beverage advertisements on television, radio and billboards are Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong France, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Kenya.

Mr. Lartey indicated that the FDA has been monitoring all TV and Radio stations nationwide since the enforcement of the guideline, effective 1st January, 2018 to identify the stations which flout the directive.

He therefore encouraged the media, advertisers, manufacturers and importers of alcoholic beverages to adhere to the restricted advertisements time stressing that failure to comply with the directive and any other legal provisions on advertisements will lead to  regulatory actions being taken against them in pursuance to provisions of the Public Health Act 2012, Act 851.

The Head of Cosmetics and Household Chemicals of the FDA, Mr. Emmanuel Nkrumah also took the opportunity to caution the general public against the emerging trend of pregnant women taking tablets and pills as skin lightening agents to lighten the skin of their unborn babies.

Mr. Nkrumah warned the general public that no products of this nature has been approved by the FDA and advised the public to desist from using such medicines as they can be injurious to both the health of the unborn child and the mothers.

He also indicated that Security Agencies and other state agencies are working together with the FDA to ensure that persons who smuggle such products into the country are dealt with in accordance with the Law.

Meanwhile, “the FDA has intensified nationwide Post Market Surveillance (PMS) to ensure that non-compliant products are brought in line with regulation.

 

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