Lab results have confirmed that the ‘Banku’ dish that claimed the lives of six persons at Akakpokofe in the Volta Region contained some poisonous substances, according to the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
Samples of the corn dough and left over banku were taken and forwarded to the FDA Quality Control Laboratory on Monday, March, 5 2018 for analysis of which part of same samples were sent to the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) for further analysis.
After several tests, the FDA later found the presence of chlorpyrifos, a toxic substance commonly used in pesticides in the samples of the banku and the corn dough.
A statement signed by Mrs Delese A.A Darko, the Chief Executive Officer, FDA, and copied to the Ghana News Agency said “laboratory results from the GSA on March 13, 2018 indicated the presence of Chlorpyrifos, a very toxic substance found in commonly used pesticides which when ingested could cause death.
“This result confirmed the initial laboratory analysis conducted by the FDA Quality Control Laboratory on March, 7 2018”.
The statement added that “the FDA is not mandated to determine the cause of death. This can only be established after a pathological investigation”.
According to Mrs Darko, the FDA will forward the findings to the Public Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service for further action.
“We wish to state emphatically that as a Regulator, we need to be factual in every information put out to the public in order to avoid creating fear and panic.
“The FDA would like to assure the general public that there is no cause for alarm as the corn mill from which the corn dough was sourced remains closed and the situation is under control.
“The FDA appreciates the fact that increased consumer awareness of food safety issues has raised concerns regarding the authenticity of some foods on the Ghanaian market and the FDA is committed to addressing these concerns”.
The statement said the public can contact the FDA with complaints on any of the following contacts: 0800151000 (Toll free on Vodafone and Airtel only) 0299802932 or 0299802933 (Hotline), 4015 (SMS short code), 0206973065 (Call and WhatsApp), Facebook (Food and Drugs Authority-GH) and Twitter (@ GH_FDA).