The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Obibini Blackman Company Dr. Kofi Aboagye Dompem, has cautioned Ghanaians to be wary of unlicensed herbal bitters on the market.
According to him, such herbal bitters companies in their quest to make quick money produce bitters under unhygienic conditions which adversely affect consumers’ health.
He said due to the unhygienic nature of unlicensed locally produced bitters, consumers are at risk of suffering from diseases.
The company produces Brukutu gin bitters, Buga gin bitters, Oga coffee liquor and the latest additions ZET mineral water, Just Ice mineral water and twenty five soft drinks to hit the market by December.
Speaking with host of Abusua FM’s Abusua Drive Ike-Da Unpredictable, he wondered why some people are in a haste to make money thereby endangering the lives of others.
Dr.Dompem believes bottling companies should influence the lives of their consumers positively and not otherwise.
‘I have been in the industry for 26 years but I must say, the influx of more bitters pose risks to human consumption. People produce bitters under unhygienic conditions; previously it was easy to produce bitters, but now things have changed you need to go through proper procedures. You might step on toes if you want to embark on this advocacy against unlicensed herbal bitters companies, it’s really difficult for people to tell the truth and those who call for the truth end up being hated.
Every individual is driven by a certain motive in setting up a business, either to impact society in a positive or negative way. The growth of business also depends on the individual, if he/she will make profits or losses, its unnecessary to use dubious means to make money. You need to make sure your business impact society positively but does not destroy people all in the name of making quick money,’ he admonished.
He bemoaned the fact that the country lacks standards to check influx of locally produced bitters, saying most of the companies do not have standardised machines in extracting the herbs.
‘Herbal preparation is not done in a rush, one needs to invest time in making sure that the herbs go through a number of machines before they are sent on the market for people to buy. In the olden days, our forefathers mixed herbs and gin in a bottle for days to cure diseases, because they believed it heals faster than preparing it without the gin. They were not drinking it on the spot, because the formula and procedure for preparing herbal bitters is quite different from any other medicinal preparations,’ he said.
He called on Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to flush out unlicensed herbal bitters companies and as well embark on educational campaigns to sensitise the public on fake herbal bitters.
Dr.Dompem questioned why the FDA has refused to check people who sell next to refuse dumps and choked gutters.
‘The FDA and the Standard Board should ensure that herbal bitters are educated on the procedure in preparing herbal bitters. Ghana does not have standards in checking fake products, such as water, food, drinks etc so most of the time, people take advantage of it, you see people selling next to gutters or refuse dumps, which is so wrong,’ he said.
He advised Ghanaians especially the youth from excessive drinking of herbal bitters.
Dr.Dompem further urged Ghanaians to buy approved herbal bitters.