Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has stopped companies selling herbal drinks from advertising till they are cleared by the Ministry of health.
Currently, Uganda has a lot of local companies dealing in herbal drinks and they have taken over the advertising space allover local televisions and radio stations.
While advertising, most companies inform their customers that their products cure some diseases. Yet according to UNBS, it’s not true because they were not certified as medicinal drinks but they were certified as products that reached UNBS’ standards not the those of the Ministry of Health.
Last year, the Ministry of Health came out and cautioned media owners against allowing companies dealing in soft drinks which at times work as herbals to advertise from their media houses but they turned a deaf ear.
Since media owners had ignored the Ministry of Health’s caution, on Thursday in a meeting held between Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and Uganda National Drug Authority and UNBS a conclusive resolution of banning any company from advertising unless cleared by the responsible party was reached.
Patricia Bageine Ejalu, the Deputy Executive Director of the Standards Directorate from UNBS informed journalists after the meeting that the ban is because most companies are advertising fake products which are against the protocol of operations in UNBS and the Ministry of Health.
Bageine added that no company dealing in herbal drinks will be allowed to advertise until the government comes out with clear standards.
She noted that any company to advertise and start operating must first get a certificate from Uganda National Drug Authority and UNBS.
“If you say that your product gives some assistance with some therapeutics issues then those who have the competence to verify that must confirm it. You can get certification from us because your product is safe, it meets the standards, but if you go out and say this product cure liver diseases? That is not right. Because we never verified that and therefore you can not say it however in most adverts we see and hear that is mentioned,” she said.
Bageine added that those with additional claims on their product should follow specific procedures.
“We have standards that cover claims and for one to make a claim there are certain procedures that must be followed,” she said.
According to UNBS, the decision follows a lot of complaints from the public about the mushrooming companies dealing in drinks and even herbals.