The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has explained its prohibition on celebrities advertising alcoholic beverages in the nation.
The FDA is currently facing a lawsuit from some celebrities who claim that the agency’s directive is denying them another source of income.
But in a statement, the Head of the Tobacco and Substance Abuse Department of the FDA, Dr Olivia Boateng highlighted that their guidance forms part of measures to guarantee that kids are protected from being seduced into alcoholism.
She stated that celebrities should not just focus about their financial advantages but instead, they should take into mind the health ramifications for youngsters who look forward to them.
“Evidence has it that when celebrities advertised these brands, the young ones are lured or motivated into using these things. Celebrities are only thinking about the financial gains but on a larger scale, our public health issues should rise above that.”
The FDA in 2015 barred Ghanaian celebrities from promoting alcoholic beverages. According to the authority, the prohibition was in conformity to a World Health Organisation directive.
It also claimed the decision was part of measures to protect youngsters and prevent them from being seduced into alcoholism.
In November, Mark Darlington Osae, the manager of Reggie ‘N’ Bollie and Skrewfaze, sued the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame over the prohibition on celebrities advertising for alcoholic beverages.
Prior to this suit, a number of creative industry stakeholders, including Wendy Shay, Shatta Wale, Brother Sammy, Kuami Eugene, and Camidoh, had spoken out against the law and urged the powers that be to repeal it.
On November 11, 2022, the plaintiff, Mark Darlington Osae, a Perfect Note Publishing music publisher, issued a writ of summons, alleging that the FDA’s 2015 regulations are discriminatory against the creative arts industry.
According to Mark, the Chairman and Co-Founder of Ghana Music Alliance, the FDA instruction that “no well-known personality or professional shall be employed in alcoholic beverage advertising” is inconsistent with and in violation of sections 17(1) and 17(2) of the 1992 Constitution.
Articles 17(1) and 17(2) of the 1992 Constitution guarantee quality before the law and prohibit discrimination against individuals based on social or economic status, occupation, or other factors, among others, and are thus null, void, and unenforceable.
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