An investigation by the National Drug Authority (NDA) has found Tickoff, an acaricide produced by Pastor Robert Kayanja of Miracle Center Cathedral and two colleagues to be adulterated with chemicals that have since been banned.
According to Abiaz Rwamwiri, NDA’s Public Relations Officer, the product which has been distributed in districts of Kiruhura, Lyantonde, Sembabule, Gomba, Isingiro, and parts of Karamoja is laced with diazinon, a highly concentrated fumigant used to kill bedbugs, bats, and termites.
It was also found to be contaminated with Fipronil a spray that was banned for food-producing animals because of the long withdrawal period due to the potential risks it could have on human health in addition to Benalaxyl a fungicide which was found to have cancer-causing components.
According to a statement issued by NDA on Tuesday, the chemicals were being mixed with animal feeds and silverfish and packaged without an expiry date, ingredient information, or warning.
Rwamwiri says that NDA received a tip-off about the product after the pastor started advertising the anti-tick drug during services at his church claiming that the product kills ticks instantly.
But, after being engaged by the authority about the drug’s efficacy, Rwamwiri says the team revealed that they had worked with scientists at Makerere University School of Veterinary Medicine to conduct trials on the medicine but these denied having ever worked with the pastor and his colleagues.
The police have since impounded over 100 samples from his church stores and taken them to both NDA and Government Chemist Laboratories.
Pastor Kayanja could not be reached for comment because his known telephones were off.