FDA, EPA probe pesticide deaths

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The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) are investigating how a couple purchased an agrochemical for domestic use which led to the death of their three children.

The children, nine-month-old twin girls and their two-year-old brother, died at Abavana Down, a suburb of Accra, on Friday night after they had inhaled a substance called organo-phosphate found in a product called Topstoxin, a fumigation tablet for the control of insects in stored grain and processed food and feeds.

The FDA in a statement said: “Although the product is a pesticide which does not fall under the regulation of the FDA, the FDA is liaising with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Agriculture Ministry to investigate the sourced and distribution channels for the product.”

The incident occurred after one of the parents had sprayed their home with the poisonous substance to get rid of cockroaches.

According to hospital sources, the mother of the deceased children dissolved some of the tablets and sprayed it indoors to kill cockroaches, bed bugs and ants.

Although she stayed out of the room for six hours, she felt sick, together with her children and began to experience convulsion after inhaling the chemical when she returned to the room.

Neighbours rushed the family to the 37 Military Hospital where the children lost their lives.

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