Court Refused To Throw Out Lawsuit Against FDA Ban On Bleaching Products


An Accra High Court has thrown out an application by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) seeking the dismissal of a suit filed by the Cosmetics Association Ghana over the ban of some bleaching creams.

The FDA filed a preliminary application challenging the procedure in which the Cosmetics Association filed the lawsuit before the court.

According to the FDA, the association had to come before the court with an application for judicial review instead of a writ.

But the judge, Justice Daniel Mensah said, despite the persuasive arguments by lawyers of the FDA, there was legal precedent for the procedure adopted by the Cosmetics Association.

The Cosmetics Association of Ghana filed its suit after the FDA, and the Ghana Standards Authority placed a ban on the import and sale of skin care products containing hydroquinone last year.

In their suit, they argued that members have for years been importing skin care products containing hydroquinone, the chemical which prompted the ban, through the ports with approval from the two institutions after paying for the appropriate fees.

The Association also argued that its members had imported, marketed and sold skin care and beauty products containing the banned chemical without any objections all these years and could not understand the motive behind the ban in August 2017.

FDA CEO, Delese Mimi Darko
Speaking before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing in Parliament last year, the Chief Executive of the Food and Drugs Authority, Mimi Darko said Ghana had now changed its standard.

“The bleaching agent in most bleaching creams is hydroquinone, and the Ghana standard now is, there should be zero percent hydroquinone in bleaching creams and the Food and Drugs Board, being the regulatory authority, has taken that standard, and we are now implementing it. So since January this year [2017], we don’t register a product that has hydroquinone in the product.”

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