The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has said it is collaborating with the Ghana Police Service to start prosecuting advertisers who abuse the use of its tagline, used to confirm that the Authority has certified products for public consumption.
The phrase “this advertisement has been vetted and approved by the Food and Drugs Authority” is used at the end of most commercials on both radio and TV to tell the public that the product has been passed by the FDA as safe.
However, the head of communications at the FDA, James Lartey said their investigations have revealed that most of these advertisers are making false claims hence the need to prosecute them.
“This phrase was introduced to indicate advertisement that had been approved by the FDA. For instances, someone comes to the FDA, brings an advert and the advert is approved, the person is supposed to end with the phrase by the FDA. There are a number of adverts that you may you see and hear that hasn’t passed through FDA but still it is indicated that it vetted and approved by the FDA, it is criminal, it gives us more grounds to in and prosecute. All those who haven’t approved their product would be definitely prosecuted,” he said.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has also cautioned media houses in the country to demand FDA certifications from advertisers especially those who deal in herbal products before airing them.
This follows a directive from the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu to the FDA to approve all advertisements before they are aired.
Some doctors have often expressed worry about the influx of herbal concoctions on the market which they say increase the risks of some diseases.
But in an interview with, Head of Communications for the FDA, James Lartey said the media is to blame for the situation.
“I think that all of us know, we can see a herbal advertisement making some claims and right from the beginning of the advert you would know that there is no way FDA would approve such an advert, yet it goes to the media station and they go and air it without crosschecking from the FDA whether it has been approved or not. I would say to some extent, I put the blame on the media. I don’t think any advertiser can walk into a media station and slot his/her advertisement into their medium unless you give approval,” he said.