FDA GIVES NEW LABELING DIRECTIVES TO THE WATER MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY
In fulfillment of its mandate enshrined in section 81 of the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) which is to provide and enforce standards for the sale of food, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has held a stakeholder meeting on new Labeling directive with water producing industry on Monday, the 16th of September, 2019, in Accra.
In welcoming the participants, the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Delese A. A. Darko said, the meeting was to address the inconsistencies in the labeling information on the primary and secondary packaging of bottled and sachet water.
She reiterated that “a directive in this area is needed in order to have a healthy policy environment to ensure that the enforcer, non-retail producer and manufacturer, and consumers benefit from clear complete labeling to obtain important information on products purchased at the point of sale.”
Mrs. Darko, pointed out that, the main objective for the new labeling is for easy identification of all essential product label information at the point of purchase of bottled and sachet water and to also facilitate effective post market surveillance. The new directive she announced, takes effect from 1st October, 2019.
An officer from Food Evaluation and Registration Department gave a presentation on the general rules of labeling. She indicated that, labels of prepackaged food shall not be presented in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character in any respect.
She outlined the mandatory requirements information for food labeling which are; the brand name of the product, list of ingredients, net quantity of contents, best before date, batch number, name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor, Country of origin, nutrition labeling and allergen labeling.
The Head of Food Evaluation and Registration at FDA, Mr. Percy Adomako Agyekum, announced that all labeling information on both primary and secondary packaging should be the same, the name and contact details of the franchisee(s), where applicable, should be on the principal display panel of the secondary as well as the primary package.
In her closing remarks, Mrs. Darko promised effective post market surveillance exercise to sanitise the industry. She equally urged the manufacturers to ensure that, their products are transported, stored and retailed under proper conditions to promote public health and safety.
A similar meeting will be held with another group of water manufacturers in Accra and repeated nationwide. In all, there were eighty-three (83) stakeholders present.