The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has assured consumers of Indomie and other noodle brands in Nigeria of the safety of the staple food for consumption.
INFORMATION NIGERIA reports that the agency’s Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye on Thursday revealed that samples of the noodles and seasonings (spices), were collected by the Agency from different locations for laboratory analysis and the results returned good for human consumption.
According to her, NAFDAC did not ban the importation of Indomie during the recent Taiwan and Malaysia episode that resulted in the death of several people.
A statement signed by NAFDAC’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, quoted the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye as having disclosed this yesterday, at the MAN House, Ikeja, Lagos, during the Quarterly Interactive session between the agency and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), where she implored Nigerians to always eat safe.
‘’I love to eat good food, including noodles. But I want to be sure that the food I am eating is not going to make me sick, take medicine. And if I am taking medicine the food that I am eating will not make me to add to the medicine that I am taking. “Therefore, I take food very, very seriously’’, she said.
Adeyeye explained that immediately the news of the recall of Indomie Noodles from Malaysia and Taiwan got to Nigeria, she directed the Director, Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Mrs. Eva Edwards, and Director of Laboratory Services (Food), Dr Charles Nwachukwu, respectively to begin tripartite discussions with manufacturers and marketers.
Adeyeye said samples of the noodles and seasonings (spices), were collected by the Agency for laboratory analysis.
On when the results were going to come out, she said the agency had run all the necessary tests.
‘’But we needed a chemical standard. Its all science. We are a science organisation, and our processes are science driven. We cannot conduct our own Nigerian science. No. We have to use the international standard chemical agents and things like that,’’ she added.
She stressed that the agency was highly sensitive in terms of food safety, adding that we have to make sure that we do the right thing, regulatory-wise.
She reiterated that NAFDAC officials went round and took samples from the market ‘’because there are suitcase importers that may bring such products in without us knowing.’’
The NAFDAC boss emphasised that the agency did not ban importation of Indomie during the recent Taiwan and Malaysia episode where many people died after consuming Indomie Noodle.
She said that Noodles generally had been banned by the federal government many years before she assumed office as DG NAFDAC in order to protect the local manufacturing sector.
She however, insisted that the implicated foreign noodles were not in Nigeria, hence, the locally produced noodles are safe for human consumption. She also said.
“We are improving on what will make our people healthier. Whatever we put into our food will affect us. Whether positively or otherwise,’’ she added.
Adeyeye however, urged the Nigerian manufacturers to strive to bring quality into their products.
“You cannot add quality to it. Because it’s a matter of time it will show. With quality, now comes opportunities to trade globally, she said, noting that Nigeria market is the largest in Africa.”
‘’That’s why I urge MAN to take the bull by the horn with the Food, Beverage, and Tobacco sector and Chemical and Pharmaceutical sector to take the lead. We can do it. We can lead Africa in terms of trade. It may take some efforts. But it’s achievable,’’ she said,
Adeyeye further said the first pharmaceutical company to have a World Health Organisation (WHO) prequalified product in West Africa and Central Africa combined was SWIPHA Nigeria Limited.
‘’We are going to have many more WHO Prequalified products in Nigeria,’’ she pledged.
In his remark, the Director General of MAN, Mr. Segun Ajayi Quadri, aknowledged the cordial working relationship between both organisations.