The lamentation of a pito brewer and seller over the competition posed by the assortment of bitters on the market suggests the rising patronage of the alcoholic beverages whose advertisement inundate the airwaves daily.
It is as if there is no product in the country worth advertising. It could also mean that so many of us have turned to alcoholic beverages; an undeniable fact anyway, especially the youth. We are now in a bitters age – the product coming in several brands, titles we are unable to mention for obvious reasons.
Suffice it to point out that the Food & Drugs Authority (FDA) has uneasy task at hand because many won’t support any clampdown on the production of such alcoholic beverages: some of which, we can bet, have not passed through the scrutiny of the authority.
We have become reckless in the manner we patronise bitters-based alcoholic beverages mostly for aphrodisiac purposes without considering the possible side effects of the newfound love for the products.
We recall some measures announced by the FDA regarding advertisements for these products. The measures which include, for instance, the appropriate timing for such advertisements to be aired or even televised, have all but collapsed. The advertisements are aired and televised at times when many kids are not asleep thereby exposing them to the products. As for combing the market to identify and seize unapproved products, this is hardly done, because of perhaps, logistical constraints occasioned by budgetary restrictions.
The questionable efficacy of these products is so well crafted that even the most meticulous can easily fall prey to these marketing ploys.
While we appreciate the challenges FDA operatives face in enforcing the law about these beverages, we expect them to continue trying because not doing anything about those flouting the law governing these products and the advertisements which accompany them, cannot be an acceptable option.
Although we are not medical personnel, it is a fact we have learnt that the number of renal-related ailments is rising and the patronage of some of these products could be responsible for the worrying trend which is why all must join in stemming it.
The aphrodisiac craze which is driving the youth to these uncertified bitters demands a state intervention. The efforts of the FDA must be supplemented in schools and other places with a large concentration of youth through education about the possible effects of reliance on aphrodisiac bitters no matter the names they carry.