NAFDAC Raises Alarm over Dangerous Trend in Food Preservation

The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC has raised alarm over unwholesome practices in food preservation that endanger the health of the people.

The Director General of the Agency, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye announced this in Osogbo during the flag off of a three day sensitization programme held at the Center for Black Culture and International Understanding.

Represented by the Director of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Mr Sherif Olagunju, the NAFDAC Director General enumerated some of the harmful practices to include the use of bromate potassium to achieve big size in bread making,  the use of Azo-dyes to make palm oil red and the use of snipers to preserve beans and drive away flies from meat.

Professor Adeyeye also warned Nigerians against formalin, which is used to embalm dead bodies to preserve frozen foods such as chicken as well as consumption of oil with transfat, while she cautioned against purchase of medicines from hawkers rather than patronizing licensed pharmacists, as well as the abuse of codeine and self medication, particularly among youths.

Another unwholesome practice she pointed out was the use of Kerosene tanker to load groundnut oil as well as the wrong use of insecticides and pesticides.

The NAFDAC boss noted that advent of COVID-19 pandemic had aggravated the problem of falsified medical products with the challenge posed by substandard and falsified personal protective equipment in Nigeria.

Professor Adeyeye said the sensitization exercise was to intensify and expand the scope of the informal sector and behavioural communication strategies in order to reach the vulnerable.

In a remark, the Nigeria Customer Service, Oyo/Osun Command pledged improved collaboration with NAFDAC to forestall the importation of falsified and adulterated products.

Assistance Controller of Customs, Mr Kosa Bala Mohammed who represented the agency said the Nigeria Customs was assiduous in ensuring that frozen foods such as chicken, dangerous food items and chemicals were not allowed to be smuggled into the country by business people who were driven by profits alone.

Flagging off the Sensitization, the Governor of Osun State, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola underscored the importance of public enlightenment exercise in supporting citizens to take responsibility for their health.

Governor Oyetola who argued that winning the awareness campaign would require its being taken to the doorstep of the people, most of whom are rural dwellers, charged NAFDAC to decentralize the exercise for effective delivery.

Adenitan Akinola

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