The news that palm oil is being adulterated with a chemical for dyeing known as sudan Four is most distressing and dangerous. The substance is said to be dangerous to health and can cause cancer and other diseases. Palm oil is consumed in many homes and chop bars in Ghana as it is used to prepare a lot of dishes. It is used in okro stew, egusi stew, gari and beans and many more. This makes it an important ingredient in the food of many Ghanaians.
The adulteration is worrying and criminal. Furthermore, the fact that palm oil in almost all the major markets in Accra is contaminated through adulteration is worrisome. It won’t be out of place to say that this development can affect the livelihood of a lot of people, from farmers to those who purchase the commodity from them and sell to the market women and the market women themselves.
What we are looking at is the possible collapse of an industry due to the greed and total disrespect for human life and health by some Ghanaians.
One can assume that palm oil is not the only food product being adulterated in the country. There is talk of pork and turkey tail also being dyed with one form of dye or the other whose chemical composition is suspect. Some people are said to be repackaging food products under very unhygienic and suspicious circumstances.
It is no secret that some traders buy paint from accredited manufacturers and adulterate it with glue and starch and the like. This kind of paint peels off after a few months. Only God knows which other edible and non-edible products are being adulterated in Ghana for profit.
In the midst of all this, it is gratifying that institutions mandated to ensure that we are not poisoned for profit such as the Food and Drugs Authority are on the alert and are collaborating with other regulators to ensure that the consumer is safe and will get value for money.
We must all ensure as Ghanaians that the get rich quick attitude of some compatriots does not endanger our health and lives. For greed in all its form, is dangerous and criminal. Let's all be each other's keeper and expose those among us who would like to adulterate food and other products for profit.
Our get rich attitude must be replaced by the quest for hard work, originality, enterprise and patriotism. 'Pe se na mi ku menya' the Akan saying- which means getting it all for oneself is negative and will not help us build Ghana into the paradise we all want it to be.
BY: TITUS TEI KITCHER, A JOURNALIST.