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Business News of Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Source: Business & Financial Times

B&FT Editorial: Apprehending illegal insecticide producers will send the right signals

GSA officials lock up shops of illegal insecticide producers GSA officials lock up shops of illegal insecticide producers

News that the Ghana Standards Authority has raided an illegal insecticide, pesticide, rodenticide and reptile repellent syndicate in Odorkor, a suburb of Accra, is welcome news and the regulating authority needs to be highly commended for the swift action.

It is to be recalled that three children died at the 37 Military Hospital after their parents reportedly sprayed an agro-chemical to check some crawling insects at their home. The sad incident happened on April 20, 2018.

The family arrived at the 37 Military Hospital with severe respiratory problems some hours after inhaling the deadly substance called organophosphate, found in a product called Topstoxin.

Prof. Alex Dodoo, Director-General of GSA, led a team from GSA, Ghana Police and Food and Drugs Authority personnel following a tip-off from residents to raid the building where the illegal insecticides were being produced.

“Health and Safety are at risk; that is why we are here on a Sunday,” Professor Dodoo stated.

The syndicate, which produces insecticides, rodenticides, pesticides and snake repellents, carries out its illegal activities with mini-factories from homes, wooden kiosks and containers. The GSA acted within its mandate since it is the institution legally mandated to ensure that standards are met in the country; and since the producers are not certified, and are operating illegally, the right thing was done by closing down their operations and arresting the culprits.

We believe the story must not end here: the culprits must face the full rigours of the law and be punished with the maximum penalty available. Putting our people’s lives at risk to make quick money warrants a charge of attempted murder – and too many times actual murder, due to deaths from the use of fake/toxic health products.