The Akwa Ibom State Government has warned residents of the state to desist from eating processed cow skin popularly known as ‘ponmo’, as research has shown that its consumption is responsible for the rising cases of cancer and liver-related diseases in the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Godwin Afangideh, who gave the warning at a press conference in Uyo, the state capital on Sunday, explained that the high quantity of salt used for the preservation of the cow skin has been discovered to have adverse effect on the liver of the consumers and also increases the risk of having cancer
Represented by Director of Veterinary Services in the ministry, Dr. Obot Obot, the commissioner said: “The state government, through the veterinary services directorate of the ministry, has embarked on a sensitisation campaign in some markets in the local government areas to talk to the people about the danger of consuming such meat.
“The veterinary officer, who was in charge of the sensitisation campaign, went to different markets and talked to the people on the imperatives of how to watch out for toxic meat following reports of its importation into the country.
“Cow skin meat, which is five times thicker than ordinary skin meat, is injected with a toxic substance called formalin used for its preservation. This formalin in the long run is capable of causing cancer and liver problems due to high concentration of salt used for their preservation”, he said.