GHANA – Mr Samuel Kwakye, Acting Eastern Regional Officer, of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), has advised the public to buy palm oil with a yellowish appearance.
He said it is a way to avoid the product contaminated with Sudan-4 dye, which gives the palm oil the reddish appearance, which normally attracts buyers.
Mr Kwakye said for the public to be on the safer side, they should ignore the product with the deep reddish appearance as the FDA continues with its investigations.
Mr Kwakye, who made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Koforidua, said the FDA has embarked on an exercise to inspect all production sites in the region and the markets to forestall the menace.
He mentioned Kade, Okumaning, New Abirem and other communities in the region, which are noted for commercial production of palm oil as the focal points.
The Sudan IV is a carcinogenic chemical used to dye clothes and batiks, however there are reports that it’s being used to colour palm oil to give it the reddish appearance to attract the unsuspecting public.
The danger is that, the chemical, without a vigorous laboratory test and procedure could not immediately be detected in the palm oil, yet it’s known to be a potential cause for many cancers.
According to experts, the reddish type of palm oil is obtained from local palm (abepa) while the ‘agric’ palm nut produce the palm oil with yellowish appearance, but because of the attractiveness of the reddish palm oil, the deadly chemical is used to colour the yellowish palm.
Meanwhile, a GNA survey conducted in markets in Koforidua indicate that patronage of palm oil has gone down drastically – GNA