The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, has warned Nigerians against the usage of chemicals like formalin, snipers, and others in food processing and preservation.
She gave the warning on Tuesday at the beginning of the National Public Awareness Campaign held at the Double 4 Event Center, Bauchi during the first phase of the sensitization to be held in eight selected states across the country from August to September, saying that the practice is dangerous to human health and could even lead to death.
Adeyeye, who was represented by the Agency’s Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Pharmacist Fori Tatama, disclosed that the agency has discovered that many fish and meat sellers use formalin to preserve their products even though formalin is used to preserve dead bodies.
According to her, sniper, is also used to preserve kilishi (dry meat), by sellers in some parts of the country.
“Sniper is being misused by most Nigerians. Snipers are not supposed to be used to preserve food items. Those in kilishi business, if you keep dry meat, flies will come, so sometimes they put the sniper around the kilishi so that the flies will not come near it.
“It is not good because if the sniper mistakenly touches the meat, it will dry with it and somebody will come and but it unknowingly and eat and you know snipers can kill. It is very, dangerous, stop that practice,” she warned.
The DG said the agency has also discovered the use of kerosene or fuel tankers conveying vegetable oils to the markets.
he said, “We have noticed that some tankers that are used to carry kerosene or petroleum products, they will just wash it a little and convey vegetable oil inside, it is very dangerous because definitely, such vegetable oil will be contaminated.
“Innocent people will go and buy these vegetable oils and at the end, they will contract diseases. When you see such, kindly report to NAFDAC so that we can do something about it, because if such is done, we don’t know who will buy it.”
She advised Nigerians to be wary of red palm oil as traders add a dangerous chemical call azo dye to make it reddish and appealing “and if we arrest you, it will be very difficult for you to come out of it.”
Adeyeye also warned Nigerians to stop patronizing medicine hawkers at markets, motor parks and other public places.
She said: “Buying medicines from hawkers who carry these drugs on trays and move around selling them. They move under the sun, the rain and other harsh weather conditions. Drugs are not supposed to be hawked because when they move under such conditions, they get deteriorated and so they are not effective and at times, they become more harmful.
“So please, we want to urge all of us, that we should please, avoid patronizing these hawkers of drugs, it is not good. When we stop patronizing them, they will be out of business but by buying drugs from them, we are only encouraging them and causing more harm to ourselves and our loved ones.