Dozens of drums of local palm oil adulterated with cancer-causing chemicals have been seized in Accra by the authorities of the Food and Drugs Authority.
Authorities say the palm oil that was being sold at the Agbogbloshie market in Accra contained Sudan IV fat-soluble dye; a chemical used industrially to colour oils, waxes, shoe polish, and greases among others.
Some distributors and sellers of palm oil having been using the chemical to enhance and maintain the colour of the oil.
The perception is that the red colour intensity is an indication of quality. The dyes prevent products from losing their colour over time.
But the chemical has since 1995 been ruled as unsafe in food for human consumption because it is capable of causing damage to one’s DNA which can potentially lead to the formation of malignant tumours.
The seizure of the oil Saturday followed months of investigation by a monitoring team of the Food and Drugs Authority.
The International Agency for Research has classified Sudan [I,II,III,IV] a category three carcinogen drug.
In August this year, the FDA, investigated Miva Lifeline Limited over an alleged use of Sudan IV dye in its palm oil, Fiavitor Dzomi, following an alert by the Tower Hamlets Council of the United Kingdom.
The operation has been extended nationwide to identify, arrest and prosecute offenders.