The government through its quality regulatory agencies has once again come out to ban the promotion, advertisements of drinks and medicinal therapies that have not been tested and certified to ensure they meet the standards.
The leaders of the three quality agencies – The National Drug Authority (NDA), Uganda Communications Commissions (UCC) and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) in a display bid unity and determination, said they will penalize owners of media houses who give a platform to vendors of uncertified products claiming nutritional and therapeutic value that has been verified by authorities.
Until now, advertisement of local and imported therapies with wild claims such as boosting manhood, and cure for many health problems has been rampant.
And although this is not the first time such warnings are being made, some of the defiant media houses are government owned.
While addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre (UMC) on Friday, NDA Secretary David Nahamya said that some of the companies were certified to make ordinary drinks but they have abandoned this mission to start making health products.
“These adverts which exaggerate the therapeutic capability of the drinks being advertised are misleading to the public and actually putting people’s lives in danger,” he said.
UCC acting Executive Director, Irene Ssewankambo said that it’s unlawful for any media house to publish such adverts and that it contravenes section 12 and 13 Annex 14 of the advertising standards.
“Section 33(1) (C) of the UNDA and authority Act Cap 206 prohibits the advertisement and publication of information that is calculated to promote the use of a drug prevention or treatment of any disease or relating to enhancing human potency,” she said.
“In addition, section 5(1) to (5) in the Food and Drugs Act, Cap 278 prohibits the false labelling or advertisement of food or drug,” she added.
UNBS acting Director David Livingstone Ebiru, said that in the interest of public health, the agencies have embarked on engaging media operators and owners in advertising standards, especially running advertisements with nutritional and therapeutic claims with appeals to desist from running such adverts with immediate effect.
“Any manufacturer or media house found in violation of these requirements will face sanctions in accordance with the laws put in place by government to protect consumer health and safety from these dangerous deceptive practices,” he said.
He further said that the agencies will continue to engage the public on the safety of the products they consume as well as monitoring such products on the market to protect consumers.
“Members of the public are encouraged to report any drug promotional materials or advertisement that they think is inappropriate to NDA, UNBS or UCC for investigations,” he said.