The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has cautioned Nigerians against the consumption of foods and drugs which are injurious to their health.
The Director-General of the agency, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, gave the warning during a sensitization campaign in the North Central zone held in Ilorin on Thursday.
The NAFDAC boss took the campaign to major markets and roads in Ilorin, the state capital.
She said the aim was to protect Nigerians against the negative effects of unwholesome food, fake medical products, harmful cosmetics, poor water and other substandard regulated products.
She said some market men and women, in an attempt to make profit, mixed palm oil with Azo dye, a cancer-causing agent, to make it look beautifully reddish and attractive to consumers.
“If you see any vegetable oil that sleeps, that is a potential killer because NAFDAC will never license any vegetable oil with that characteristic. They also use sniper on meat, fish and beans to prevent fly from perching and eradicate weevils. Such products are dangerous when they are consumed.
“The vegetable oil that has been transported in kerosene tanker is hazardous and using potassium bromide to bake bread kills slowly. Consumption of excessive oil and use of formalin on food has its associated health hazards,” she warned.
Represented at the event by the Director, North Central of the agency, Mrs. Bolaji Abayomi, Prof Adeyeye also warned on the dangers of buying medicines from hawkers rather than licensed pharmacies and medicine stores.
She said the campaign theme was intended to address such public health challenges as abuse of codeine and self-medication, especially among youths.
She encouraged mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding for two years for the good health of their children, adding that low level of exclusive breastfeeding practice by lactating mothers will make the child susceptible to various diseases and low IQ.
“It is common knowledge that Nigeria has a preponderant share of the global problem of falsified medical products and unwholesome food.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the problem with the challenge posed by substandard and falsified Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).
“The sensitization campaigns will therefore contribute significantly to the federal government’s efforts to inform, sensitize, educate and alert the public about inherent dangers of intake and use of those spurious regulated products”, she stated.