The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has defended its laboratory investigations that proved that some COA FS products on the market are contaminated with E.Coli.
Testing of samples of the product in Cape Coast, according to the FDA revealed “excessive microbial, mould and yeast contamination” compelling the Authority to order the recall of the food supplement from the market.
Manufacturers of the product, Centre of Awareness Global Peace Mission, have however challenged the claims by the FDA that COA FS is unwholesome for public consumption.
The company argued that tests it has also conducted at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital showed no presence of a contaminant in their products.
But reacting to the rejection of its findings, the Head of laboratories at the FDA, Eric Kakari Boatengn, insisted that the Authority followed due process and that the final outcome of the investigation does not fall short in way.
“If they have done (their own tests), that is their piece of cake I guess. We trust the result that we realised. We always stand by it. This is not the first time we have been challenged. This is like the fifth time. Even multinationals have challenged us and we have not lost a single one because before we come out with the results, we cross-check so we are extremely sure of what we are doing before it comes out. Telling someone to do recall is not an easy thing so we will not just come and tell you to do a recall when there is no cause for concern. But our recall stills holds,” he said on Eyewitness News.
Mr Boateng further urged the manufacturers to submit their said report to the Authority for the necessary next line of action to be determined.
“There are standard ways of resolving challenges. They have a right to challenge so they should submit the report, attach a letter and bring it to the FDA and then we will take it from there. We say there is contamination, they say there is no contamination but it is what the law says. So they should get their report and send it through the right channel,” he added,
The FDA analysis was done on samples picked from the market and the COA Herbal Centre in Wusorkrom near Cape Coast.
The Authority had earlier indicated that persons with weakened immune systems, who are targets of the COA FS, “can become seriously ill due to the ingestion of products contaminated with E.Coli.”
“Those who are in possession of the product are being directed to return the product to the manufacturer, place of purchase or any of the FDA offices across the country, ” the FDA said.
Meanwhile, manufacturers of the product have also indicated that they are awaiting results of further independent tests on the said batches and will make public the findings when concluded.
The company has, however, called for calm among its customers and the general public.
“We, therefore, wish to assure our distributors, agents, clients and the general public that we will not rest on our oars until all due processes are exhausted. We, therefore, wish to assure the general public that in as much as we disagree with the FDA, we are committed to working with them as the regulator to address any concerns they may have.”
COA FS gained some popularity because it was reported to be an effective treatment for the novel coronavirus.
The Executive President of COA FS, Professor Samuel Ato Duncan, had stated in an earlier interview that the supplement could cure the novel coronavirus.
There were also claims that he Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) had certified the product but Noguchic ame out to say it had neither independently tested nor verified COA FS as a treatment for the virus.