Made-in-Ghana Campaign Ambassador, Ms Emelia Arthur, has called on government agencies in charge of food safety in the country to stop the storage of alcoholic beverages in plastic containers for public consumption.
According to her, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Ministry of Trade have, for the past decades, turned a blind eye to these products on the market, even though they were aware of the dire consequences for consumers.
Ms Arthur made the call at the closing ceremony of “Ade Wo Fie Oye 2018 Made-In- Ghana Fair” at Kasoa in the Central Region.
The fair started on 7th December and end on 9th December, 2018. Exhibitors from across the country showcased numerous local products such as textiles, soap, beads, beverages, among others.
It was sponsored by K.K. Peprah Co. Ltd., Evonet Distribution, Golden Drop, Nkulenu Industries, Ashfoam, Capital 02, and Weber Group.
Among those who graced the event were chiefs, District Chief Executives (DCEs), Members of Parliament (MPs) and other stakeholders.
Ms Arthur explained that research has shown that those who consume alcohol in plastic stood the risk of contracting numerous cardiovascular and intestine permanent diseases.
“Plastic has certain chemical substances (ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid) which have the tendency to leak to considerable extent if alcohol is stored for a longer period of time,” she cautioned.
She added that “alcohol stored in plastic is more likely to go off in a plastic bottle. Glass is impermeable to O2 [by mass, oxygen is the third-most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen and helium. At standard temperature and pressure, two atoms of the element bind to form dioxygen, a colourless and odourless diatomic gas with the formula O. 2.], and CO2 (Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is a very common, naturally occurring molecule that contains two oxygen atoms and one carbon atom. In everyday conditions on earth, carbon dioxide is a commonly occurring gas that is all around us. It is colourless, odourless, is naturally present in earth’s atmosphere and is an important part of earth’s carbon cycle. All humans and animals exhale carbon dioxide when they breathe, and plants absorb it during the process called photosynthesis in order to grow], hence the spirits can be stored in the glass bottles for a longer duration.”
Ms Arthur, who is also a gospel musician, added that “plastic bottles tend to distort and deform under the pasteurisation process while glass bottles don’t.”
“By pasteurisation, I mean the process where boiling water will be sprayed on the packed brew to destroy any microbes that could have survived the brewing process.
…Though this can be avoided by using hard-wearing plastics that are more resistant, most of the prevalent plastic manufacturers do not prefer this because it increases the cost,” she explained.
Ms Arthur noted that manufactures of alcohol in the country have realised that it was cheaper to store alcohol in plastics but do not think of the health implications and risks to consumers.
“Plastic is considered cheap but selling wine or vodka in plastic bottles is not favourable to selling in glasses,” she warned.
Against this backdrop, she called on the FDA, GSA, the Ministry of Trade, the Health Ministry, the Ghana Health Service, government and other stakeholders to sanction those manufacturing or storing alcohol in plastics to stop the practice.
Furthermore, Ms Arthur called on the Association of Alcohol Manufacturers and Importers (AAMI) Ghana to, as a matter of urgency, halt their operation of storing alcohol in plastics for sale since such products when consumed were harmful to the health of the consumers.
She also seized the opportunity to advise the youth to desist from alcohol since it had the tendency of ruining their health and future.
She said alcohol, especially those in plastics, could have more health implications compared to the ones in bottles.
For his part, the Awutu Senya East Municipal Chief Executive, Michael Essuman Mensah, praised Ms Arthur for her efforts in ensuring that Ghanaians patronised and consumed made-in-Ghana goods.
He said if everyone would give priority to made-in-Ghana goods and priority to Ghanaian companies, the nation will develop rapidly.
Mr Essuman Mensah averred that industrialised countries such as China and Japan started by patronising their local products which has brought them to where they are today.
He also urged traders to pay their taxes for the government to have enough revenue to develop the nation.
Story: News DESK