July 20, 2024

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Ghana: FDA Defends Ban On Celebrity Alcohol Advertisement

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Joseph Yaw Bernie Bennie, Director of Legal Affairs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has responded to critics of the agency’s prohibition on celebrity alcohol advertisements.

Speaking in an interview on 3FM’s Sunrise show on Thursday, June 20, 2024, Mr. Bennie stated vehemently that he disagrees with the notion that the ban on celebrity endorsements of alcoholic beverages will affect the livelihood of celebrities.

“The FDA regulates thousands of products, you are talking of one so how will this take food out of somebody’s mouth. You are talking of just one which is in the interest of public health and safety,” he said.

According to him, the Authority is still trying to deal with some loose ends in the directive, as its guidelines “is not one that solves all the issue.”

The FDA states that “No well-known personality or professional shall be used in alcoholic beverage advertising” in its guidelines for food advertisements, which were released in 2015. The FDA added that the ban was in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) policy and that it was an effort to keep kids and young adults from falling prey to alcoholism.

The directive was met with a lawsuit which was filed in 2022, by Mark Osae, an artiste manager, seeking a court order to declare the FDA’s guideline unconstitutional because it violates the right to non-discrimination guaranteed by Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution.

On June 19, however, the Supreme Court dismissed the case and upheld the FDA’s directive in a 5-2 majority decision. The court ruled that the FDA’s directive was reasonable and not excessive and that it did not violate any constitutional provisions.

By Accra Times.

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