The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has assured the general public that the safety in the consumption of tomato paste is still intact, urging all to ignore a documentary which has gone viral on social media that seems to portray that the safety of the product has been compromised.
“The general public is assured that all products registered by the FDA, including tomato paste and tomato mix are safe,” a statement issued by the Authority said.
The video condemned the production of Tomato concentrate mixed with other ingredients found on the Ghanaian market.
Some consumers are therefore living in anxiety as a result of the health risk implications raised in the said video about the consumption of tomato paste in the country, products that are mostly imported from China.
However, the FDA in a statement released on Thursday, September 24, 2020, dismissed the documentary and explained there are two variations of tomato concentrate products: Tomato Paste and Tomato Mix.
“According to the Ghana Standards GS 246:2019, Tomato Paste is tomato concentrate to which salt and other suitable seasoning ingredients may be added whiles, Tomato Mix per the Ghana Standards GS 1203:2018, is tomato concentrate and/or tomato powder (granules) to which water, salt, starch, dietary fiber and other optional ingredients mentioned in Clause 5.1.2 are added. With regards to labelling of these products in Ghana, the FDA has a separate Guideline for Labelling of Tomato Mix and Seasoned Tomato Mix – Tomato Seasoning Mix which requires quantitative declaration in percentages of tomato and of all ingredients mentioned above if used in the production of the product”, it noted.
It further said the current FDA regulatory measures being implemented to ensure safety included sampling and testing of all batches of tomato paste and tomato mix products locally manufactured in and imported into the country before clearance as prescribed by standards and Labelling Guidelines.
Meanwhile, the FDA stated that Gino, a brand mentioned in the documentary, officially, ceased the importation of Tomato Paste onto the Ghanaian Market and from November 2018 only imports bulk tomato concentrate for the production of ‘GINO TOMATO MIX’ locally.