Ghanaian Actress Criticizes FDA’s Alcohol Advertisement Ban

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Veteran Ghanaian actress Akofa Edjeani has expressed her displeasure on the recent Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Food and Drug Authority’s (FDA) directive banning celebrities from advertising alcoholic beverages.

Recall that the FDA had laid out guidelines for the Advertisement of Alcoholic Beverages by public figures published on February 1, 2016, stating, “No well-known personality or professional shall be used in alcoholic beverage advertising.”

The FDA explained that this guideline aims to prevent minors from being influenced by celebrities to consume alcohol.

Speaking as a guest on 3FM radio, Edjeani said the lack of proper consultation by the FDA before implementing the directive.is not timely, adding that the agency did not thoroughly consider the implications of the guidelines.

“It’s unfortunate, and I don’t understand how learned men and women could arrive at this decision. I’m not convinced it was well thought through. Who did they consult from our industry? Who did they talk to before making this decision?”

She, however, questioned the logic behind the directive, “Advertising is still happening whether it’s by a celebrity or not. If someone wants to drink, they will drink. If they claim we’re influencing minors, they should provide proof,” she said.

The FDA further noted that the ban aligns with a policy by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is part of efforts to protect children and young people from being lured into alcoholism.

A suit was filed against the FDA’s directive, arguing that it was unconstitutional and violated the right against discrimination guaranteed by Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution. The Supreme Court, in a 5-2 majority decision last week Wednesday, dismissed the case and upheld the FDA’s directive.

The court ruled that the FDA’s directive was neither unreasonable nor excessive and did not contravene any constitutional provisions.