By Cecil Mensah
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), has warned radio stations across the country to desist from advertising foods and beverages as medicine.
The FDA, gave this warning at a stakeholders’ meeting to educate members on the need to adhere to the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) law that bars the advertisement of alcoholic beverages as medicine.
The forum, was attended by members of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Ghana Association of Advertisers, and some manufacturers of food and beverage in Accra.
Moderating the questions and answers segment of the forum, Mr. James Lartey, the Public’s Relations Officer (PRO) of FDA, said that the law was against certain disease being advertised on public radio, but only in medical journals.
He said, the diseases that can be advertised needs the assistance of medical practitioners to do so, and not the press.
He said, media houses have taken over the advertisement of cure for certain diseases in the country, thereby worsening the condition of patients.
He said, the advertisement on these food and beverage as medicine, creates bad impression among patients, leading to worsening health conditions, since they believe what is being said on radio.
He added that, the FDA has a problem with the various media houses especially, in the way and manner these adverts are presented to the general public.
He called on the media to do some self-regulation by collaborating with the Authority to ensure public health safety.
He reminded the media houses to insist on seeing the Authority’s approval stamp, before going ahead to advertise these products.
“It is the duty of the Authority to protect the public health safety, because medicines are not articles of commerce that can be bought and returned after use. Medicines are not like shoes or shirts, once taken, whether good or bad, goes into the body system and stay in the system”
He said, when people hear an advert they take it as the gospel truth, and the way and manner the cure for the disease are introduced, entices the listeners to get it at all cost.
This situation according to him, has made certain alcoholic beverages look like cure for certain diseases, hence the need to ban their advertisement from 6 AM to 8PM every day.
He concluded that, the decision to ban advertisement on these beverages, was to save minors from being enticed by the various suggestive advertisements running on radio especially, during the peak time of the day.