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Govt. Raises Alarm Over Adulterated Foods In Markets: Palm Oil Now Mixed With Dye

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has issued a stark warning to Nigerians about the widespread presence of adulterated and contaminated foods in markets across the country. 

During a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the acting Executive Vice Chairman of the FCCPC, Adamu Abdullahi, highlighted the urgent need for vigilance among consumers.

Abdullahi revealed that unscrupulous traders are engaging in harmful adulteration practices, disregarding the severe health implications for consumers.

 He made these remarks at a one-day sensitization workshop aimed at traders, farmers, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the general public. 

The workshop addressed issues such as the forceful ripening of fruits, adulteration of palm oil, and contamination of meat and grains.

“This initiative is part of our effort to ensure a healthier society in line with President Bola Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope Agenda,’” Abdullahi said. 

He emphasized that the FCCPC has the authority to remove fake and adulterated products from the market, thus safeguarding consumers from purchasing harmful goods.

The FCCPC’s plan involves extensive outreach to markets, grassroots communities, and farms to uncover and eliminate unethical practices. 

Abdullahi stressed the importance of maintaining product standards to protect public health and called on the public to report any suspicious activities.

Femi Stephen, representing the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, elaborated on the specific dangers of food adulteration. 

He warned that palm oil is often mixed with harmful substances such as dye, lard (animal fat from pork), and transformer oil (paraffin), which pose significant health risks.

Additionally, Promise Ogbonna from the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) highlighted the dangers of forcefully ripening fruits using chemicals like calcium carbide. 

She explained that calcium carbide contains arsenic and phosphorus, both known carcinogens, making this practice particularly hazardous.

Edozie Ugwu, Vice-President (North-Central) of the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), praised the FCCPC for its proactive stance.

 He noted the severe impact of food adulteration, citing instances where individuals have lost vital organs due to consuming contaminated products. 

Ugwu assured that market associations would collaborate with the FCCPC and other relevant agencies to ensure strict enforcement of laws against adulteration.

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