The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has warned the general public against the purchase of unpacked cereal or other products that have been removed from their primary packaging as such products could pose a threat to them health-wise.
The Director-General NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye gave the warning on Friday in Lagos state.
Adeyeye explained that the agency was disturbed because infants and children were the targets and the ultimate victims of such ‘wicked and evil’ activities.
She said in order to deal with the incidence of food fraud, the agency is conducting raid operations and success has been recorded in the area of forfeiture of unwholesome processed cereals, beverages, and dairy products.
“In the nationwide raid which commenced in July 2021, seven trucks conveying 4,578 cartons of various unlabelled, transparent nylon packed cereals worth over 60 million naira were confiscated by the agency.
“The sources of these various falsely packed cereals and dairy products cannot be verified and, therefore, NAFDAC cannot guarantee the safety of the products for consumption.
“During one of our operations, a suspect declared that the CocoPops, CornFlakes and Oats being displayed for sale in transparent nylons were sourced from LAWMA waste disposal trucks before repackaging into transparent nylons,” she said.
The DG also revealed that its officials raided two warehouses at the Trade Fair Complex in Lagos, where multiple cartons of banned drugs including 10 cartons of Tafradol (Tramadol 225mg) were found.
She said, “It is pertinent to mention that any strength above 100mg not registered is banned due to its deleterious effects on vital organs of the body such as the central nervous system and the brain.”
She said that the banned drugs in the warehouses owned by one Chuka (Akuamia), who was at large, was estimated to be worth over three billion naira.
Adeyeye said that over 20 truckloads of the offensive products were evacuated from the two locations, adding that the products were stored at temperatures above 40oc which would normally denature some of the active ingredients and excipients.
Adeyeye also announced that in response to credible intelligence indicating that importers were smuggling unregistered regulated products ahead of the festive period into the country, the agency had commenced raids of markets and supermarkets with the aim of mopping up unregistered NAFDAC products.
Adeyeye noted that, “the agency had observed that some fake and counterfeit products were brought into the country through a system known as ‘Groupage’ a system where more than two persons load containers with different items from the country of origin.”
According to her, “this system aids and abets counterfeiting. Contraband and unregistered regulated products are concealed and brought into the country through this arrangement.
“We solicit the cooperation of the public, corporate bodies, religious leaders, traditional rulers, health practitioners, gentlemen of the press and all stakeholders in our effort to rid the nation of fake and unwholesome products.
“The counterfeiters are not spirits, they live among us and flaunt their ill-gotten and blood money. To assist us, please report to the nearest NAFDAC office in your neighbourhood, town, or city across the country.
“Consumers are hereby enjoined to ‘shine their eyes’ when making purchases of products and should not patronise roadside and street vendors.”