The Food & Drugs Authority (FDA) has raised a red flag over the importation, distribution and sale of high doses of glutathione on the Ghanaian market.
The FDA said its market surveillance has discovered unregistered high doses of the glutathione containing products being used as bleaching agents.
According to the FDA, when used as a dietary supplement, glutathione possesses health benefits but has the side effect of slowing down the production of melanin, the product which gives the skin its brown colour, thereby, lightening the skin, hence its use as a bleaching agent.
Addressing the press, Delese Darko, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, explained that even though the FDA has currently registered some brands of glutathione in accordance with the law as dietary supplements in minimal doses of 100-500mg per day for an adult, her outfit found high gtlutathione containing products on the market.
“The FDA intelligence and market surveillance revealed that the glutathione containing products on sale on our market for this purpose has dosages ranging between 1,500,000mcg-2,000,000mcg equivalents to 1500-2000mg per tablet,” she indicated.
Some of the brands found on the market, she revealed, are Gluta Prime, Phyto Collagen, King of Whitening, Gluta White and Ivory Capsules Skin Enhancement Formula.
Mrs Darko stated that as a food supplement, glutathione should not be marketed as drugs or cosmetics, therefore, offering it for sale with the claim that the use of glutathione can cure certain diseases are clearly in contravention of Section 113B of the Public Health Act, Act 851 and criminal in intent.
“The FDA would like the general public to know that these products have not been registered by the Authority and for the indications claimed on their labels,” she said, adding that the public should not patronise these products since the Authority cannot assure their safety, quality and efficacy.
She said the Authority had intensified monitoring of border posts and market surveillance across the country and would like to caution any person found offering them for sale or distribution will face the necessary regulatory sanctions and full rigors of the law,” she indicated.
Mrs Darko pointed out that her outfit has embarked on a number of swoops nationwide and seized some products and a number of sellers were arrested.
She hinted that the culprits were assisting the police in their investigation to know how the products entered the county, as well as the distributors.
By Abigail Owiredu-Boateng & Jamila Akweley Okertchiri