A Chief Dietician at the Ministry of Health, Mrs Margaret Hanson has cautioned Ghanaians against the increasing consumption of foreign frozen poultry products.

She said such products which had been frozen for long periods had the propensity to cause serious cardiovascular diseases, gout, obesity, among other health related complications.

Mrs Hanson was addressing a symposium organised by the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) in Accra on the topic; “Nutritional value of Poultry.”

She said because those products were kept in freezers for long periods they also had high content of salt which was hazardous to human health.

The event was also used to launch the association’s website, www.gnapf.com

The Chief Dietician said another problem with imported poultry was that the birds were fed with growth hormones which increased their growth rate and thereby made them exceptionally bigger and with more fat.

She said due to the long period in freezers and the medicine given them, “even the taste of the local bird and imported frozen chicken are not the same”.

She said coupled with those problems was the fact that because of differences in taste, Ghanaians were being forced to use a lot of seasoning, which also contained monosodium, an additive full of salt.

Mrs Hanson said one did not need any scientific examination to determine the high fat content of foreign poultry products because a cursory examination easily indicated that foreign frozen foods were of high fat content than the local ones.

“Let us support the eating of fresh and locally produced poultry,” Mrs Hanson said and asked “whether Ghanaians want to save money by going for the foreign poultry product and increase the risk to their health or want to purchase the locally breed poultry at high cost and save their lives.?”

Mrs Hanson reminded Ghanaians about the recent destruction of about 1,000 cartons of frozen imported poultry products by the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), because they had become poisonous for human consumption and asked if Ghanaians were aware of the number of cartons that had escaped the watchful eyes of the FDB and entered the local market.

The Chairman for the occasion, Mr Philip Abayori, urged the poultry farmers to liaise and collaborate with the importers of poultry products and find out how through such collaboration they would be able to build the local poultry farming industry.

Mr Abayori, who is also the President of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association, explained that when the two organisations collaborated they would be able to lobby government for favourable policies that would enhance the growth of the local industry to make it globally competitive.

The Executive Director of the Third World Network, Dr Yao Graham, expressed concern about the insensitivity of various governments in recent times to the local poultry farmers’’ plight and aided by the policies of the Bretton Woods institutions, had neglected the industry to its near collapse.

He said because the industry impacted on a lot people on the production chain, ranging from the poultry farmers, owners, to workers, grains and cereal producers and even eggssellers, any negative repercussions would affect all these people in the chain and their dependants.

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