The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, has sounded the alarm that food vendors across the country are applying products toxic chemicals to preserve their food to the detriment of the health of Nigerians.
Adeyeye revealed that among the deadly chemicals used by meat and fish vendors was formalin, a chemical used to preserve dead bodies.
She revealed that the agency discovered that butchers resorted to using formalin to embalm the dead, to preserve fish and meat eaten by Nigerians.
She made this known during a public information campaign launched by NAFDAC in Bauchi State on Tuesday, held at the Double Four Events Centre, Bauchi.
She warned that the misuse of chemicals on food products could lead to many serious illnesses and death, warning that anyone caught would face justice.
Adeyeye, who was represented by NAFDAC Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Fori Tatami, also disclosed that Sniper, a brand of toxic chemical, is also used to preserve Kilishi (a dried form of suya , made from deboned cow, mutton or goat meat) by food vendors in some parts of the country.
“Sniper is misused by most Nigerians. If it dries with Kilishi, it can kill the consumer,” she warned.
She said that apart from discouraging Nigerians not to associate with drug dealers, the agency also warns Nigerians against buying meat from an open place infested with flies.
“These meats may be mixed with dangerous chemicals that repel flies, so Nigerians should beware,” he said.
She said Nigerians should also be wary of red palm oil as marketers add a dangerous chemical called “azo dye” to make it reddish and attractive.
She said the public enlightenment was aimed at making Nigerians aware of development and being willing to provide information on such practices to NAFDAC in order to arrest and prosecute the suspects.
“We should not allow people to put chemicals in the products we consume. We have to be careful and enlighten our people,” she said.