We need consumer safety protection commission

Consumer Safety File photo

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 Source: Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi

Do you know that upholstered furniture , garments ,drapery and other clothing that are made from fabrics that contain cotton, polyester blends, rayon, and acrylic are relatively easy to ignite and burn rapidly and therefore can kill you?

Ever wondered why deceptive and defective products and drugs that present a risk to our health, or can possibly kill us; easily go through the cracks undetected and find their way into our homes?

Well, the answer is there is no robust consumer Safety Protection Agency in Ghana to protect us from manufactures of these products the poor service providers.

Since the NPP came to power we’ve been hearing “one-district-one factory”, slogan a lot. In fact, it has become a household word.

Is all good, except that no one is talking about what the industrialization will bring. Absolutely, no one is talking about Consumer Safety Protection outfit that can vigorously protect us from the hands of quacks, defective and deceptive products and schemes practitioners. . Since hundreds of quack devices and products do appear, advertise and market regularly in Ghana, it will be hard for our present government outfit to eliminate this menace from our towns and villages.

Please don’t get this confused with the Ghana Standard Board, Environmental Protection Administration and other governmental authorities like Food and Drug Administration. By the way, they’re doing absolutely nothing to protect us from the evils of defective drugs, herbal medicine vendors and a whole lot of health frauds and quack schemes practitioners—who prey on the desperation of people without hope.

On top of it, miracle cures and oils are widely publicized on our airwaves and print media, and Ghanaian public is constantly barraged with claims and advice on what to do for any particular ailment.

Unfortunately, most of the responsibility of enforcing the laws against health frauds, false or fraudulent advertising and miraculous medical discovery claims lies with agencies that don’t know their roles in the law enforcement equation. That is why there is a need for a new Consumer Safety Protection Commission.

The proposed commission should have the following statutory mission: a) To protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products or services.

b) To assist consumers in evaluating the comparative safety of consumer products.

c) To develop uniform safety standards and regulations for local and international consumer products (aphrodisiac, bitters, miracle drugs, etc)

d) To promote research and investigation into the causes and prevention of product-related deaths, injuries and illness. (E.g. some herbal medicines)

e) To force consumer products manufactures to display their products disadvantages or adverse effects on the consumers’ health.

f) To help the consumers (who have been affected negatively by defective products) to take legal action against the products’ manufactures. This means it will have the sole jurisdiction over every consumer products we use in the home, schools, and public places. On top of that, it will administer Product Safety laws, Hazardous Substance laws, Flammable Fabric laws, Poison Prevention Packaging laws and any other laws that protect the consumers’ wellbeing.

By now the “deadwoods” at the environmental protection Administration and Standard board are probably fuming with hot anger coming from their nostrils. They‘re not happy reading about a proposal of any outfit that can protect us and make them look so irrelevant and outdated. Oh, yes I know any great consumer outfit that will protect us will surely get our vote and respect. Aren’t we all sick and tired of living in a country where everything has turned into a private money- minting cottage industry? We’re bursting at the seam!

By the way, when was the last time you saw one of these fellows in your town or neighborhood to find solutions to the deplorable condition of your sewage or waste disposable sites? Who cares about where and how these pure water factories are functioned?

I hope I ain’t the only soul in Ghana who thinks we need a Consumer Protection Safety Commission that will not only protect us but gives us up-to-date information on products and services we use every day in our homes, factories ,schools and offices because what we don’t know can easily kill us.

Until next time, Stay tuned. Be educated, informed and blessed.

Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi (Voice of Reason)

Columnist: Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi