By Chioma Obinna
THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), yesterday urged Nigerians to discountenance the text messages being circulated round through the GSM that apple was now a poisonous fruit to eat.
In a statement by its Director-General, Dr. Paul Orhii, NAFDAC said it would launch a full-scale investigation into the matter, saying it could be the handiwork of unscrupulous business individuals or group.
The agency said it never issued any alert warning the general public against further consumption of apple because those recently imported had been found to be contaminated as claimed by the unscrupulous text message.
A sample of such text messages sent to one staff, reads: â€œTell your loved ones and anybody you know. Apple is now a poisonous fruit to eat. All the ones imported into the country currently are contaminated and have been killing people. The statistics is nation wide and increasing. This message is from NAFDAC. It is not a rumourâ€.
Reacting to the text message that was spreading like wide fire at the time of this report especially in Lagos and its environs, the management of NAFDAC in a statement said NAFDAC never issued any alert on apple fruits and never reported or received any complain of contaminated apple fruit in the country.
The agency in a statement by its Director-General, Dr. Paul Orhii, NAFDAC said: â€œThe attention of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has been drawn to the strange GSM text messages being circulated in the country on speculated poisonous killer apples.
NAFDAC hereby categorically dissociates itself from the rumor and scare as no official of the Agency has made any statement on the presence of poisonous killer apples.â€
â€œThe Agency is deeply concerned about the grave consequences of the speculated killer apples and has immediately directed all NAFDAC offices across the country to investigate the authenticity of the rumor.
The general public is however advised to be alert and report to the nearest NAFDAC office any genuine case of unwholesome apples and other substandard regulated products.
Meanwhile, NAFDAC has taken samples of apples from various markets and retail outlets for laboratory analysis. Furthermore, the public is hereby informed that NAFDAC, at least for, now, issues public alert via radio, TV and print media and not by text messages. NAFDAC is working with security Agencies to track down the initiators of this text message.”