Imitated Ghanaian Fabrics Pose Cancer Threat - Ministry

Patrons of cheap Ghanaian-look-alike textiles are virtually buying skin cancer whilst promoting the collapse of the local textile industry. This is because the manufacturers of such pirated textiles in some instances use banned chemicals such as CI Acid Red 26, CI Direct Blue 6 and CI Basic Red 9, which are dangerous to the skin and can cause skin cancer to users. Nana Akrasi Sarpong, Acting Director of Communication and Public Affairs of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, (MOTI) gave the warning at the launch of the “Every-Day Wear’ campaign in Keta on Thursday. He said for these reasons and for the fact that such pirated textiles infringe the World Trade Organisation’s regulations, they would be seized and destroyed in compliance with the WTO’s regulations. The campaign, spear-headed by the MOTI, seeks to popularize the patronage of locally manufactured textiles in preference to foreign originated ones with fake Ghanaian designs and company names. The overall aim is to resuscitate the local textile companies and give Ghana a brand identity through the patronage of local textiles. Nana Sarpong said it is for these reasons that the seized pirated textiles would not be given as gifts to the needy in the country as suggested by some sections of the public. “Previous attempts to deal with the situation by seizing and distributing the products to the disadvantaged in society have not solved the problem,” he explained. “The Ministry believes that the most effective deterrent to the activities of such unscrupulous importers is to see their capital go up in smoke.” He described the pirated textiles as, “essentially the products of theft and appropriation of another company’s intellectual property in terms of copying of the designs of Ghanaian companies in the textile industry”. Nana Sarpong said in the 1970s and early 1980s Ghana had a thriving textile industry which employed over 3,000 people and facilitated infrastructure development in the communities and undertook other social responsibility initiatives. Similarly, those companies helped to raise competition in the domestic football league through the participation of their clubs. A representative of tailors and seamstresses in the Keta Municipal Area commended the MOTI for the campaign and for involving those in designing and dress making. The representative, however, urged the government to explore ways of helping the local textile companies to operate competitively so that the prices of their products could be afforded by the average citizen. Meanwhile, the Volta Regional Minister Mr Joseph Amenowode, has asked the District and Municipal Chief Executives in the Region to ensure that their staffs adopted the “Every Day Wear” as their dress code. He hinted that the government was taking steps to revive the Volta Star Textiles Company, formerly Juapong Textiles. Mr Amenowode observed that local textiles were best suited to local climatic conditions.