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NAFDAC warns against fake drugs, use of chemicals to ripen fruits

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NAFDAC warns against fake drugs, use of chemicals to ripen fruits

The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, has raised the alarm that drug hawkers and fruit sellers are endangering lives of Nigerians.

Adeyeye spoke at a one-day media sensitisation workshop on the dangers of drug hawking and ripening of fruits with Calcium Carbide. It was organised by the North East zone of NAFDAC in Bauchi, yesterday.

The NAFDAC DG warned Nigerians against patronising drugs from hawkers as well as sellers of fruits ripened with calcium carbide due to dangers they pose to health.

READ ALSO: Calcium carbide-ripened fruits linked to cancer, kidney failure, says NAFDAC

She lamented that fake drugs and ripening of fruits with chemicals were  two dangerous practices by unscrupulous persons that is killing unsuspecting citizens.

She explained that the workshop was to inform journalists to create public awareness on the dangers lurking around for Nigerians to stop patronizing them.

Adeyeye, who was represented by Director, Chemical Evaluation and Research of the Agency, Dr. Leonard Omokpariola, revealed there had been calls by well-meaning Nigerians on the need to take stringent regulatory actions to stem the dangerous tide of drug hawkers and sellers of ripened fruits with Calcium Carbide.

The DG explained that there had also been several concerns on the looming danger and health implication of these two nefarious activities in the country.

“Since 2019, we immediately took some decisive steps such as sensitization of the public through different media outlets, enforcement through intelligence and raids in fruit markets that have resulted in seizures and destruction of violative products.”

The DG said that the workshop with media was in fulfilment of the agency’s promise to sustain and strengthen NAFDAC’s existing collaboration journalists towards mobilizing, educating, sensitising, and conscientising members of the public on the dangerous practice.

“We are doing it for Nigerian journalists to play frontline role in our concerted efforts to eradicate the menace of Drug Hawking and Ripening of Fruits with Calcium Carbide in Nigeria”, she said.

The NAFDAC DG said that bulk industrial food or food ingredients that includes cereals (Cornflakes, Oat, Milk, and Beverages) were issued import permits for end-users in the manufacturing industry.

She said that NAFDAC had observed that bulk industrial food  not in retail pack were being sold illegally in our markets..

“These bulk items are openly displayed and measured to unassuming buyers with little or no care from contamination”, she said.

Adeyeye said that the agency was currently addressing such market practice through monitoring of the utilization rate and capacity (installed) of end-users to block the gas/leakage of the non-retailed packaged product from being sold in our markets.

She advised members of the public against buying dangerous non-retailed packed items from the market to prevent the risk of taking contaminated, substandard, expired and adulterated food or food fraud with grave health implications.

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