NIGERIA – National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged food vendors and market women to desist from using dangerous chemicals as preservatives or catalyst to ripen fruits, saying it constitutes risk to major human organs.
Speaking at the flag-off of the agency’s sensitization campaign, the NAFDAC Director General, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, who was represented by the Director, Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in the Agency, Mr. Sheriff Olagunju, attributed the increasing rate of kidney diseases and cancer in the country to irresponsible use of drugs and chemicals among residents.
She cautioned against the dangerous practice of using petrol or kerosene tanker trucks to transport vegetable oil.
“When such contaminated vegetable oil is consumed, it causes damages to the kidney, liver and several other organs within our system that we do not even know. That is why in recent times, we have a lot of cancer and kidney ailments in Nigeria.”
She also raised an alarm over the use of many other practices such as using potassium bromate in bread production, formalin to preserve meat, use of dyes to enhance the redness of palm oil and the use of sniper to preserve beans from insect constitute risk for consumers of such food items.
In his goodwill message, Osun State Governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr. Siji Olamiju, said the sensitization exercise was at the right time with the ravaging effect of coronavirus pandemic, stressing the need to concentrate more on the rural areas to achieve meaningful result.
“Winning the awareness and sensitization campaign will require taking it to the doorsteps of the citizenry most of whom live in the villages. I would therefore like to appeal to NAFDAC to decentralize this awareness and sensitization programme by taking the message to the nooks and crannies of the State so that our mutual plan of delivering healthcare to the people would be realized.”
NAFDAC seizes truckload of unregistered milk
The agency has also seized a truckload of unregistered milk suspected to be counterfeit in Sokoto.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Malam Garba Adamu, NAFDAC Coordinator in Sokoto State, said that the consignment of 300 cartons of 35g creamer sachet was seized at the popular Kantin Daji market while the vehicle was on transit to Kano.
He said that the items were confiscated and the persons involved fined, to serve as a deterrent to others. The coordinator explained that the agency’s headquarters had, in July, alerted state offices of circulation of unregistered milk and other products in the country.
He enjoined members of the public to be wary of their consumables and monitor any unregistered item so as to support NAFDAC in safeguarding their health.
According to him, the agency’s officials intensified surveillance and inspection exercise in Sokoto and Kebbi states to ensure quality of products and services.
Adamu reiterated NAFDCA’s commitment to sustaining the efforts, in accordance with its mandates.