June 8, 2009

NAFDAC impounds fake vegetable oil, salt

By Chioma Obinna
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC) has  impounded fake and substandard vegetable oil as well as salts packaged in 50kg and 25kg respectively.

The fake products valued at N2 million on Naira was impounded during the Agency’s routine  raid exercise to major markets in Ibadan metropolis of Oyo state.

In a statement signed by the Oyo state Coordinator of the Agency, Reverend Benjamin Haruna on the two days exercise in the state, he said the operation became necessary following reports of presence of the offending products in the markets.

Haruna noted that already the agency has arrested and interrogated owners and distributors of the products. He further explained that the products, particularly the vegetable oil were impounded because they were unregistered and unfortified with vitamin A ingredients.

Haruna added that the government had since banned the sale and consumption of salt packaged in 25kg and 50kg to align with the recommendation of the International Health Association which was made to compel salt manufacturers, distributors and sellers to package iodized salt in household or retail package sizes of 1kg and below to ensure good keeping and retention of iodine content in them.

He regretted that despite the enlightenment campaigns, consultative meetings, sensitisation workshops and other methods adopted over the years to discourage importation, distribution, sales and consumption of these products, people continued to engage in the business.

The NAFDAC Coordinator warned that the era of appeals was over and it was now time for enforcement and those caught would not only forfeit their products for destruction but would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

He affirmed that consumption of the unfortified vegetable oil and salt packaged in big bags constitute health hazards that would make people vulnerable to nutrition deficiency, damage to the skin, blindness, goitre among others.

Hauruna therefore asked for the cooperation of members of the public to assist to expose the major importers and distributors of these outlawed products and their warehouse revealing that the exercise would be a continuous one.