The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has denied the existence of plastic rice on the Ghanaian Market.
Social media was recently awash with videos of individuals making claims that they have bought plastic rice at some food joints.
This generated concerns over our food and safety standards promoting the FDA to hold a press conference to deny the claims.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Delese Darko, said its own rigorous experiments invalidate the claims of plastic rice.
“There is currently no plastic rice on the market. We are monitoring the situation. We are doing it with the international community… As to what is happening on social media, we will continue to monitor, but I cannot say why they are doing it,” she said at a press briefing today [Friday].
“Using our nation-wide market surveillance program, we obtained random samples After hearing the rumours and seeing the videos that are circulating on social media. The FDA then went ahead to request members of the public to submit samples of the rumoured plastic rice or provide information as to where it could be found. We subjected all these samples received for laboratory investigation. Results from the analyses indicated that all the samples were in fact, real authentic rice and not plastic” she said.
She has therefore asked the public to ignore the rumours adding ‘’the physical and chemical properties of plastic is such that ordinarily they cannot be reconstituted into edible food because plastic cannot absorb or mix with water.”
“We have a website and it is good for the public to know this and to visit the website, to know that if there is a product that you see on the market that is suspicious, you report to the regulator.”
The FDA also revealed that, they are working with the international food safety authority network (INFOSAN), whose investigations into the same rumour of fake plastic rice in other countries such as Singapore, Nigeria and Canada, has revealed that all the rice in these countries are authentic and no plastic rice has been found anywhere in the world, with the national agency for food and drug administration in Nigeria, recently denying completely the availability of fake or plastic rice on their market after thorough investigations.
“The rumour of plastic rice is not peculiar to Ghana. The European food safety authority ranks this rumours of artificial plastic rice as the 9th of 13 emerging food risks in the world. This notwithstanding, the rumours of plastic rice have not been confirmed anywhere in the world”, the FDA assured.
The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) on Thursday destroyed narcotic substances estimated at two million dollars at Bundase Training Camp of the Ghana Armed Forces at Pampram in the Greater Accra Region.
This follows a court order for NACOB to burn the narcotics intercepted from drug peddlers for the past 13 years after those cases were dealt with.
Mr Michael Addo, the Deputy Director of NACOB, said the illegal substances destroyed include heroin, cocaine, sativa, methamphetamine and cannabis seized at various points such as the Kotoka International Airport, the borders, Cargo Village and Ghana Post.
Mr Addo said the drugs were seized between 2003 and 2016 and that the destruction also formed part of the commemoration of the World Drugs Day which falls on June 26.
He said the destruction was also to send signals to the public that the drugs were harmful to the human body.
The exercise was done in the presence of officials from the court, the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA), and Environmental Protection Council.
Personnel from the GSA tested the drugs to confirm if they were the actual drugs intercepted, after which they were set ablaze.
Television stations, XYZ TV, Thunder TV and Ice TV have been directed by the the National Media Commission to cease forthwith the airing of pornographic materials on their television stations.
The directive follows a complaint filed by Mr. James Oberko and Mr. Tommy Annan Forson against the stations.
Manager of Ice TV, Samuel Owusu Asare had said says the channel will not kowtow to the petition presented to the National Media Commission (NMC) and Information Ministry by two renowned journalists and stop showing pornography films.
It is unclear this directive will be able to stop the television station from showing the films.
Two broadcasters, Tommy-Annan Forson and James Kwasi Oberko, have made a complaint against three television stations in Ghana for showing films with pornographic scenes on their channels.
The two, on Monday, 12th June, 2017, presented their complaint to the National Media Commission and the Ministry of Information against TV XYZ, Ice TV and Thunder TV, for showing these films to their audience.
But according to Mr. Asare, he respects the two however, their action is in bad taste.
The Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid says government have taken steps to rectify the illegal stay of the two Guantanamo detainees.
According to the Minister, government will under the supervision of the security agencies and that government was going to take prompt steps to address the consequential orders from the Supreme Court that said the agreement that brought the two to Ghana should be taken to Parliament for ratification.
The Supreme Court has ordered the government to send the agreement that brought the two ex-detainees from Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) to Ghana to Parliament for ratification.
The apex court said this should be done in the next three months else the government should send the two detainees back to the United States.
The court gave the consequential orders when it ruled on the case on Thursday morning.
The Supreme Court declared that the transfer of the two Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) ex-detainees to Ghana was unconstitutional.
Two Ghanaian citizens, Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, together with the Minister of Interior, accusing then-President John Mahama of illegally bringing in the two former Gitmo detainees, without recourse to the laws of the land.
The plaintiffs were seeking, among other reliefs, a “declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana acted unconstitutionally by agreeing to the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby.”
Former presidents of the republic of Ghana, Members of Parliament (MPs), will no longer be given protocol visa allocation on non-official visits.
This follows new directives from the United States Government.
Per the directive, the officials have the option of booking a private appointment or join the queue of countless Ghanaians who seek US visas on a daily basis.
Ghana’s Ambassador to USA, Robert P. Jackson appearing before the Committee on Foreign Affairs in Parliament, he said, “As for the protocol, normally if you are applying for official travel there is no personal appearance required so there is no reason for your parliamentary protocol officer to come to the Embassy whatever. The normal channel will be for him to pass the visas and passport to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and their protocol people will be permitted to come to the Embassy, and we will do everything we can to process those visas within 48 hours of receipt. If you are travelling for tourism or business that is not related to government business, you will be required to make a personal appearance even with former Presidents. There are no exceptions.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has described as unfortunate the maltreatment suffered by Ghanaian and Liberian immigrants who were deported from the United States of America.
The 63 illegal migrants arrived in Ghana last week in handcuffs.
They arrived at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra on Wednesday, 14 June in handcuffs.
The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and the Ghana Police Service screened the deportees upon arrival.
The deportees, most of whom had no records on them, are the second batch of immigrants to be brought back since Donald Trump became president of the US.
The Minister speaking to our parliamentary correspondent Naa Darkuah Dodoo described the situation as inhuman.
The minister in charge of Foreign Affairs questioned the American government when Parliament summoned its high commissioner in Ghana to answer why it treated the deportees in that manner.
Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey also blamed the so-called employment agents who promise heaven to fly the youth to the foreign land only to enslave them in the end. She said the ministry would have to intervene in most cases to rescue those who find themselves in trouble in most cases.
‘’Instead of availing themselves to the Ghana embassy when they travel, Ghanaians would rather hide till they are faced with challenges. This is not the best so they must desist from such attitude’’ she lament.
Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson has debunked claims of maltreatment against the deported 63 Ghanaians who touched down at the Kotoka International Airport last week.
He was responding to questions when he appeared before Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
According to him, the US government had identified about 7,000 Ghanaian citizens who were staying in the US illegally, and that plans were underway to have they brought back to Ghana.
“The 63, who returned recently, arrived in a chartered flight, refused to board a civilian aircraft and return voluntarily. I do not consider the conditions under which they were returned inhumane. They were fed, they had some freedom of movement on the flight. It is not as if they were chained to their seats,” he said.
The Ambassador added that “It is true that 7,000 Ghanaians who have overstayed their visas or are staying in the US illegally are in various stages of the deportation processes. There will be additional deportations because the 7,000 people who are under deportation orders have either committed crimes in the United States or long overstayed the visas on which they entered.”
By: Daniel Asuku
Organizers of the annual 'Afemua Aseda' which is held every January in a new year, MAAKORA KAA GROUP, will be hosting yet another event dubbed, ‘To Dwom’ which literally means, sing.
The mid-year thanksgiving event, is aimed at offering patrons a platform to sing praises to God and acknowledge him for seeing them through the first half of the year.
The event will witness performances from renowned musicians like Barfour Kyei Mensah, Mark Anim Yirenkyi, and Isaiah Kwadwo Ampong among others.
The event which is slated for June 25, 2017 at the Church of Pentecost, Taifa Central Assembly at 3:00PM, is free.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MAAKORA KAA GROUP, Kwadwo Asiedu Ansah, a renowned preacher and broadcasterwith Rainbow Radio in an interview with rainbowradioonline.com said, the presence of God will be felt on that day and has encouraged the public to be present at the event.
According to him, ‘To Dwom’ will be held every other year and in June alongside the main annual event, ‘Afemua Aseda’.
The event is in collaboration with Rainbow Radio International.
The National Youth Wing of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has slammed the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) over what it describes as, political transfers at the Youth Employment Authority (YEA).
National Youth Organizer of the NDC, Sidii Abubakar in the statement said the NPP after taking over power is deliberately dismissing legitimate workers.
A major shake-up hit YEA recently over alleged fraud of over GHc50 million.
The transfers affected 200 workers an exercise which is intended to reposition the agency for higher productivity.
But the youth wing of the NDC believes the exercise was nothing but a deliberately political action meant to frustrate workers.
The statement said: ‘’The recent mass transfers at the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) is most condemnable and an outright violation of the ACT establishing the YEA…’’
According to the statement: ‘’…YEA is mandated to provide transfer grants to all workers before transferring them to other stations of the agency in order to facilitate their movement.
But ‘’the NPP has however refused to make these grants available to facilitate their relocation whiles at the same time, giving the transferred workers limited time to move or lose their jobs - a clear case of carrot and stick approach to victimise and replace legitimately employed workers with NPP members,’’ the statement added
Below is the full statement:
NPP MUST STOP POLITICALLY MOTIVATED TRANSFERS & DISMISSALS AT YEA
The Youth Wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is calling on the extremely divisive NPP Government of Nana Akuffo Addo to desist, with immediate effect, from the wanton, discriminatory and politically motivated transfers and dismissals of legitimately employed Ghanaian youth in State Institutions.
It has become government policy since the NPP assumed power barely six months ago, to dismiss legitimately employed workers who are perceived to be aligned to the NDC from the National Service Secretariat , the Cocobod, NADMO, and many other state institutions without justifiable reasons.
Workers with unexpired contracts and duly signed appointment letters have not been spared by the NPP government’s vindictive machinery.
The recent mass transfers at the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) is most condemnable and an outright violation of the ACT establishing the YEA which is funded through the following taxes from all Ghanaians:
a) moneys approved by Parliament for the Agency;
b) eight percent of communication service tax;
c) ten percent of the District Assemblies Common Funds subject to the formula approved by Parliament in accordance with article 252 of the Constitution.
d) five percent of the Ghana Education Trust Fund subject to the fomula approved by parliament in accordance with the Ghana Education Trust Fund Act, 2000 (Act 581); and
e) donations, gift and grants
It is therefore very obvious that The NPP is not the source of funding for the YEA and so cannot abuse the Agency and use it for political vendetta or for the sole benefit of NPP members.
The YEA is mandated to provide transfer grants to all workers before transferring them to other stations of the agency in order to facilitate their movement. The NPP has however refused to make these grants available to facilitate their relocation whiles at the same time, giving the transferred workers limited time to move or lose their jobs - a clear case of carrot and stick approach to victimise and replace legitimately employed workers with NPP members.
We demand that the YEA releases the transfer grants immediately for the transferred workers. Failure to do so in the next seven days will compel us to do legitimate things not only to stall the work of YEA, but also employ all legitimate tools to express our utmost anger and gross displeasure to make governing Ghana extremely difficult for the NPP since they want to make life unbearable for Ghanaians who are not NPP.
We call on all youth transferred by YEA to various parts of the country without their transfer grants, to disobey the directive unless and until the transfer grants are paid. We warn the YEA authorities to be mindful that any attempt to dismiss these transferred youth for not obeying the directive will meet public indignation and proportionate reaction from us.
President Nana Akuffo Addo must think again, if this is the sort of change he promised. We voted change for all Ghanaians, but not for some selected Ghanaians belonging to NPP.
We however hope the International Community and the Foreign Missions in Ghana are keenly following these unpatriotic attempts by the Nana Akuffo Addo government to subvert the proper functioning of State Institutions for the benefit of their party followers and at the expense of the entire nation.
We are surprised that Civil Society and the Clergy are so far turning a blind eye to this nauseating "Winner Takes All" attitude, and have failed to condemn these acts that threaten good governance in our country. We hope that these Groups will in future also not condemn such acts when the tables turn and another political party other than the NPP, forms a new Government.
The Nana Akufo-Addo led clueless NPP and moribund Administration is destroying the social cohesion of Mother Ghana and we shall resist thus oppressive draconian rule with all our "will and might forevermore".
Sidii Abubakar Musah
NDC National Youth Organiser