NIGERIA – The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has cautioned meat and fish sellers against the use of formalin to preserve the products as it is harmful and not meant for consumption.

Formalin, a colorless substance is derived from formaldehyde, which is a known cancer-causing agent. The best-known use for formalin is the preservation of dead bodies in mortuaries

Speaking at the sensitization programme on the dangers of using local medicine, in Birnin Kebbi, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Christianah Adeyeye, said the sensitization was to intensify and expand the scope of the informal and formal behavioral change of communication strategies, to reach the vulnerable communities on food and drug safety.

The target audience for the programme includes traders, road transport workers and employers, community youth organizations and students.

Represented by the Director, North West Zone, Dauda Gimba, the DG said the sensitization campaign would contribute significantly to Federal Government’s concerted efforts to inform, sensitize, educate and alert the public about inherent dangers of intake and use of those spurious regulated products.

“I am happy to inform you that the mass media, vibrant youth and civil society organizations in the pilot states will be in the forefront of the campaign.”

Prof. Christianah Adeyeye, Director General, NAFDAC


Dr. Yusuf Sununu, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health, applauded NAFDAC for the campaign to make people aware of the dangers of using falsified medical products and unwholesome foods.

The Permanent Secretary, Kebbi State Ministry of Health, Hassan Maigandi, assured NAFDAC of the state government’s continued support on campaigns to ensure authentic medical products and wholesome foods are sold to the people for a healthy society.

Counterfeit products

Meanwhile, the agency has also nabbed a 30-year-old man for counterfeiting products and the use of fake registration numbers in Onitsha, Anambra in Nigeria.

Dr Christiana Esenwah, Deputy Director, Investigation and Enforcement (South East and South-South), NAFDAC briefed newsmen on the arrest in Asaba, Delta.

She mentioned that the products would be subjected to laboratory tests to determine their component, adding that the products were fake and definitely harmful.

Some of the products and items recovered include, several cartons of olive oil, balm, 100 litres of paraffin oil as raw material, corks, bottles and labels of various kinds designed for the fake products.

Esenwah avowed that the agency would go out of its way to unravel other syndicates and accomplices in the criminal acts.

“The suspect was caught with all the items displayed and he is involved in illegal packaging of olive oil and products of other companies. The olive oil and one of the balms had NAFDAC registration number on them. The products are fake and I can tell you that they are hazardous and injurious to health.”

Dr. Christiana Esenwah, Deputy Director, Investigation & Enforcement, NAFDAC


The suspect said that he faked the products and had used the NAFDAC registration number on the labels of original products to make the products look real. He claimed that he had made several attempts to register his own products with the NAFDAC but failed due to certain conditions of the agency.