The Tanzania Foods and Drugs Authority last week reduced to ashes a consignment of drugs, cosmetics and other consumables worth 22 million/- that were confiscated from various stores in Arusha City.
The burning of the reportedly goods of poor value, fake products and those that had gone past their sell-by dates (shelf lives) took place at the Municipal dump site in the Muriet section of Sokon One on Wednesday under police supervision.
The burning of the 'undesirable' consignment followed a week-long inspection conducted in local pharmacy stores, food outlets, supermarkets and other wholesale and retail shops operating in Arusha Urban precinct.
The Northern Zone Manager of TFDA, Mr Damas Matiko explained that the exercise was among the authority's efforts to deal with unscrupulous traders, dealers and agencies who have been reaping huge profits at the expense of people's lives.
"All they care about is making money, these people have been importing sub-standard, counterfeit and even expired drugs and packaged food and selling the goods to unsuspecting customers," said Mr Matiko adding that the impounded consignment was valued at 21,549,600/-.
The zonal TFDA boss did not reveal what steps will be taken against store owners who were found stocking the doomed goods.
Arusha is meanwhile experiencing huge waves of young ladies who have been bleaching their facial skins as well as other parts of their anatomies using creams and lotions whose ingredients include the banned Hydroquinone and Mercury chemicals that were banned from use but traders keep importing them here through dubious channels.
Other deadly products include hair conditioners, gels and various beauty products whose contents still a lot to be desired. Also in the list there are contraceptives, male and female condoms that are either of poor quality or expired.
The other problem facing health authorities in Arusha is the tendency of most people choosing to self-diagnose their ailments and treating themselves using cross-the-counter medication from the daily mushrooming drugs stores in the city.