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FDA suffers blow over ban on some bleaching creams

BY MUNTALLA INUSAH

muntalla.inusah@dailyheritage.com.gh

A PRELIMINARY application by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) directed at the High Court in Accra seeking the dismissal of a suit filed by the Cosmetic Association of Ghana over a ban placed on some bleaching creams has been thrown out.

The FDA, in its preliminary objection, stated that the Cosmetic Association per their suit ought to have come before the court with an application for judicial review in the form of Certiorari instead of a writ.

But, the court, presided over by Justice Daniel Mensah, said despite the persuasive arguments by lawyers of the FDA, there was a legal precedent by the Supreme Court for the procedure adopted by the Cosmetics Association.

Prior to his ruling, the judge said though he had earlier decided the objection in favour of FDA, a development from the Supreme Court required that he change his mind and rule in favour of the Cosmetic Association.

Background

The Cosmetics Association of Ghana filed its suit after the FDA and the Ghana Standards Authority placed a ban on the import and sale of skin care products containing hydroquinone in 2017.

Per their suit, the association argued that members had for years been importing skin care products containing hydroquinone, the chemical which prompted the ban, through the ports with approval from the two institutions after paying for the appropriate fees.

They also argued that the association members had imported, marketed and sold skin care and beauty products containing the banned chemical without any objections all these years, and could not understand the motive behind the ban in August 2017.

Speaking before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing in Parliament in 2017, the Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority, Mimi Darko, said Ghana had now changed its standards.

“The bleaching agent in most bleaching creams is hydroquinone, and the Ghana standard now is that there should be zero percent hydroquinone in bleaching creams and the Food and Drugs Authority, being the regulatory authority, has taken that standard, and we are now implementing it. So since January this year [2018], we don’t register a product that has hydroquinone in  the product.”

Source: www.dailyheritage.com.gh/Muftaw Mohammed

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