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General News
FDB fights alcohol misuse. 7/30/2009

An official at the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), Mr Odamey Darkwa says political interference is making it difficult for the board to effectively deal with the problem of indecent alcohol advertising.

He said any time the board takes action on some advertisers and presenters who violate the guidelines of the Board, politicians intervene.

But the FDB was undaunted and will continue to seek new ways of stopping the current abuses in advertising in the country, he said.

He expressed regret at the conduct of radio presenters who embellish advertisements and unsubstantiated claims in the adverts contrary to the guidelines the board gives to them.

Mr Darkwa said the board was in full support of the National Alcohol Policy to be submitted by the government for action.

The Executive Director of Imani Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe said the alcohol policy was necessary to setout clear guidelines on how to deal with the problem of alcohol in the country.

“The health aspect of the policy, there is a public safety aspect of the policy and indeed the drinking pattern and availability of alcohol should all be taken into consideration when government decides to regulate,” he stated

Mr Cudjoe disagreed with Mr Darkwa’s assertion that political interference makes the fighting of illicit advertising difficult.

He placed the blame at the doorstep of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) saying the association had failed to sanction its members who violate advertising guidelines and regulations.

Contributing to the discussion, the Executive Secretary of the Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG) Mr Francis Dadzie expressed concern about the advertising of alcohol at certain times of the day.

He said a dossier of letters written to broadcasting houses raising concerns about their adverts had failed to yield the desired results. Broadcasting houses “must act responsibly to save our society,” he snapped.

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