The FDA (Food and Drugs Authority) is becoming a bigoted dictatorial rogue governmental body usurping powers it doesn’t have, to push it’s dogmatic and utterly ridiculous believes onto the Ghanaian society and unloading a critical mass of infectious diarrhea on our rights and constitution while it is at it.
The FDA’s directive in it’s operational guidelines effectively prohibiting a section of the population it calls “well-known personality” from the advertisement of alcoholic beverages is illegal, discriminatory and hence unconstitutional.
Section 3.2.10 of the FDA guidelines provides that “No well-known personality or professional shall be used in alcoholic beverage advertising.”
As justification for this despotic directive they sight “protection of children”
To be clear according to the FDA:
Parents aren’t responsible for their own children, celebrities are.
Children are mindless loons who imitate celebrities blindly.
People who’s profession puts them in the public eye should have their economic rights violated in the name of some imaginary malleable child.
Advertisement is defined as:
a paid announcement, as of goods for sale, in newspapers or magazines, on radio or television, etc.
a public notice, especially in print….
the action of making generally known; a calling to the attention of the
Also: a public promotion of some product or service.
What an advertisement isn’t, is a command, a demand, a dictate or an expectation to do.
“Well-Known Personality” what a senseless phraseology.
Our constitution states that: A person shall not be discriminated on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status. The constitution defines discrimination as giving “different treatment to different persons attributable only or mainly to their respective descriptions by law, place of origin, political opinions, colour, gender, occupation, religion or creed.
Simply put: All persons are equal before the law!
Of significance is the knowledge that the act that established the FDA grants it powers only as far as regulatory abilities. The FDA does not have the power to override the constitution, but the responsibility to work within the framework of the laws documented within the it. Part of the FDA’s purpose is to determine an arrangement and guidance within which all Ghanaians are able to engage freely as they so choose in their quest to manufacture, distribute and advertise food and drug products in a way that protects public safety etc. It doesn’t have the right to determine who amongst the free citizens of our country can and cannot engage in legal economic activity. That is against the law. Any freedom loving citizen of our country should be worried. The directive infringes on the freedom of speech rights and equality of economic opportunity rights guaranteed by our constitution.
Clearly somebody at the FDA is a clueless lazy hack who would rather create imaginary problems so that they can be seen to be doing some work instead of actually doing what is legally mandated, like collaborating with the police to enforce an actual law that prohibits the sale and provision of alcohol to person’s under 18years.
Applause to the handful of artistes who have taken to protesting this illegal directive, good! But a couple of misconceptions needs correcting:
The FDA directive is not LAW. Only institution with the power to enact laws is the legislature. i.e parliament.
Calling for dialogue with the FDA. Wrong. You should never seek to negotiate the terms of your abuse. The FDA is acting illegally, period.
Then there are those who support the FDA’s illegality on the grounds of morality, to them I say, we see through people who attempt to use moral persuasion to take away our rights. But the question begs asking, how is alcohol immoral? Or do the mean alcoholism? A stumbling babbling drunk is not any more immoral than the sugar addict or a glutton. Neither alcohol or it’s consumption is immoral. Selling or providing alcohol to underage children is immoral and criminal.
There is a distinction to be made between responsible acohol intake and alcoholism. Alcoholism or alcohol abuse isn’t immoral either. In this context I’ll define abuse as the repeated intake of a substance to excess that affect the free function of the body or impair cognition temporarily but over extended periods of time may lead to severe health issues. Immorality isn’t a matter of degree or volume, but rather behavior or an act inherently wrong e.g cheating on a spause, once or thousand time.
Alcohol, food, drug abuses are public health issues, brought about by psychological shortcomings that dulls our sense of inhibition or in the case of an addiction, one is basically helpless.
Morality is society determined, not legislated.
As long as alcohol remains a legal product and advertisement of legal products allowed, no adult citizen can be disallowed from contractual agreements between parties for the purposes of marketing such products.
The directive should be disregarded by all involved. The affected party is us. We the people either have equal opportunity for commercial and economic engagement or we don’t. The producers and retailers of alcohol brands have been unfairly impacted, sections of the citizenry have suffered the loss of potential income. The producers, retailers and marketers of alcohol beverages must take legal action against the FDA, they have the means and are the most directly endangered party. But first, they should disregard the directive, this will obligate the FDA to seek to enforce the directive, which they can only do through the law courts. Let’s hear them explain to a judge where they derived the power to discriminate against persons who’s only crime is being “well-known personalities” in society, a designation only the FDA understands.
Or they should just sue the FDA.
Our rights protects us. The people who seek to violate them won’t back down because we waile and grovel at their feet, it’ll only embolden them.
While we assert that the FDA is not within it’s right to ban any free adult citizen from engaging in legal transactions, for curiosity and amusement purposes we will like to demonstrate the frivolity of the FDA’s reasoning by asking them to answer the following:
What alcoholism epidemic involving children in Ghana catalyzed this directive?
What year did this epidemic happen?
Wheres is the research paper stating that “well-known personalities” were the influence for these children to drink?
What were the age range of the affected children?
What was the number of the affected children?
What did the parents of these children have to say about the matter?
Where is the evidence that “well-known personalities” have a unique influence on children to consume alcohol?
By Ivory Ari Ocean Tel: 0246449997
Disclaimer: The suggestions in this article is not meant as legal advice but thoughts of this writer.