The National Agency for Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC) has issued a strong warning to people who consume imported or smuggled frozen meat such as chicken and turkey in Nigeria. NAFDAC Director-General, Dr. Paul Orhii, who gave the warning at a media briefing in Lagos, said that these foods have been implicated in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and antibiotics resistance.
These diseases include cancer, kidney disease, and hypertension amongst others. He, therefore, warned Nigerians to stay away from imported frozen chicken and turkey because they have been discovered to be causative factors in these non-communicable diseases.
Dr. Paul Orhii said that these frozen products have been found to contain substances that can predispose one to kidney, liver and lung diseases as well as certain types of cancers and drug-resistant bacterial infections.
At the briefing, a study, titled “Prevalence, Quality and Acceptability of Frozen Poultry Meat in Major Cities in Nigeria” carried out by experts from the University of Ibadan titled “, was presented. It was made clear that importation of these products have been banned by the Federal Government, but some people still indulge in smuggling them into the country.
Dr. Orhii said that NAFDAC is discouraging people who patronize frozen meat such as Chicken and Turkey because they have been found to contain contaminants that are hazardous to human health. The contaminants can be formaldehyde, at times it can be a high level of antibiotics residue and other contaminants like heavy metals. “And that is why we are discouraging members of the public from consuming them.
The study, which Orhii referred to, was carried out by Prof. Olumide Tewe (lead researcher), Prof. S.S. Abiola (meat technologist), Dr. O.A Abu (nutritional enzymologist), Dr. C.I. Alarima (agriculture extensionist), Dr. O.A. Olabisi (public health specialist), Mr. S, Adelani (chief technologist) and Mr. R.A. Aromoye (administrative assistant).
Heavy metals (which have been found to be present in imported or smuggled meat) may cause toxicity-related mutagenesis (mutation), carcinogenesis (cancer) and other severe health hazards. Others (the result of heavy metals) are cardiovascular diseases, skin disorders, and neurotoxicity lung and nasal cancer in humans”. Excerpts: GuardianNGR