The warning by the Food and Drugs Authority over the detection of some cancerous substances in palm oil is leading to the gradual collapse of the palm oil business in the Ashanti Region.
At Piase, a farming community in the Bosumtwi District of the Region, producers of the product told our correspondent that people no longer come to buy their palm oil since the news broke last week.
TV3’s Ibrahim Abubakar reports that the business is on its knees at Piase as a result of the FDA directive.
Most of the women in the community, which is a hub of palm oil production, depend on the palm oil business as a major livelihood.
The business is the engine for economic growth of the area as well because over 65 percent of women are engaged in it.
But the once booming business is gradually collapsing less than a week after the Food and Drugs Authority discovered that some sellers of the product have adulterated it with ‘Sudan IV’ or ‘Sudee’, an industrial dye used in the colouration of plastics and other synthetic products.
The FDA says the chemical-laced with the palm oil is cancerous.
The situation is having a serious toll on the palm oil business in Piase, our correspondent reports, as manufacturers of the product revealed customers have stopped buying the palm oil.
Elizabeth Bio, who has been in the business for the past 48 years, said the issue of ‘Sudee’, which she has never used nor seen before, is collapsing their business.
“I don’t even know how Sudan IV dye looks like and also don’t understand why people should mix this harmful substance to palm oil for people to consume,” the 67-year-old said.
Some of the production sites have halted the processing of palm oil because of poor sales.
Magaret Osei said they already have several unsold gallons of palm oil, hence, fear to process more.
“Producers of palm oil at Piase have never and will never mix their palm oil with any cancerous substance,” she noted.
She pleaded with the FDA to hasten its investigations into the act and punish those found culpable of the offence.
“The issue of adulteration of palm oil has seriously affected our business because people no longer come here to buy,” Margaret intimated.
Producers at Piase Gyidim say they cannot halt production because they have already bought the palm fruits in excess and fear that the fruit may rot if not processed on time.
Bonsu Stephen vowed that they do not add any harmful substance in processing the palm oil because they do not only sell but also consume some of the palm oil.
He also called on the Food and Drug Authority to quickly fight and resolve the alleged adulteration of palm oil because the current situation is seriously affecting their business.
Several gallons of palm oil still remain unsold since the news broke out on Monday, our reporter observed.