The Ogun State government has raised an alarm over the discovery of toxic cattle hide and skin otherwise known as ‘Ponmo’ in some markets in the state, warning the people against its consumption.
According to the government, some unscrupulous businessmen were taking advantage of the gap in demand and supply of the widely consumed commodity to sell industrial ‘Ponmo’ laden with tanning chemicals to the unsuspecting public.
The state commissioner for Agriculture, Ronke Sokefun raised the alarm yesterday while addressing stakeholders and ‘Ponmo’ sellers in her office, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The commissioner explained that the toxic ‘ponmo’ otherwise known as ‘imported ponmo’, is often brownish black, foul smelling, abnormally thick with layers and ridiculously cheap compared to the certified ponmo.
Sokefun pointed out that what is being sold is raw hide meant for leather production from African and European countries like Sudan, Italy and Japan.
“Tanning chemicals like biocides and fungicides are added along the processing chain to preserve the hides against protein degradation, bacteria and mould growth that would have damaged the hides and skin”, she said.