The Food and Drugs Authority has slapped Angel Group of Companies, producers of Adonko Bitters with a GHs25,000 fine among other sanctions for contravening its code on sale and advertisement of alcoholic beverages.
The Authority took the decision after preliminary investigations into circumstances that led to dozens of youth and minors passing out at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi after an Easter Monday concert organized by the company.
Twenty-four hours after the ‘all night’ concert, which attracted Oseikrom big guns as well as Dancehall King Shatta Wale and Bisa Kdei, the revelers, most of whom were in their teens, were still seen sprawled on the pitch, drenched in alcohol and gasping for breath.
According to the FDA, the company sold its alcoholic product, Adonko Bitters to minors interested in attending the concert, after limited entry to the programme to persons who purchased the product. “FDA’s investigation confirmed that the criterion for gaining access to the concert was solely on condition that each individual purchased a 750ml bottle of the alcoholic beverage at a cost of GH¢10, a situation which resulted in the Alcoholic beverage being sold to minors as well. It also resulted in excessive consumption, clearly putting the consumers at risk of flouting the caution of drinking responsibly,” the FDA said in a statement.
It said the action by the company “contravened Section 3.2.19 of the FDA Guidelines for the Advertisement of Food products which states that “No alcoholic beverage shall be advertised in relation to a public function where persons under the legal drinking age are likely to attend.” “The Company also contravened Section 3.2.12 of the FDA Guidelines for the Advertisement of Food products which prohibits the use of well-known personalities in the marketing of alcoholic beverages by engaging Shatta Wale and Bisa Kdei in the promotion programme.
These acts exposed patrons to the said programme to unwarranted serious health risks bordering on public health,” it added. It noted that, it has since taken a decision to sanction the company by suspending its Registration and Advertisement License whilst investigations into the incident continue. It has also ordered the company to recall all of its product, Adonko Bitters from the market. “The company has also been directed to recall the Product, Adonko Bitters, from trade and to furnish the FDA with details of the recall plan and subsequently, the progress of the recall plan.
The company is to pay an administrative charge of GH¢25,000 for failing to comply with the above regulatory requirements. ” The FDA further gave strong indications that it will impose further sanctions if Angel Group of Companies fails to comply with the sanctions.