The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has condemned in strong terms the use of Formalin for the preservation of frozen chicken and meat by businessmen and women in some Nigerian markets.
Formalin is a disinfectant widely used in mortuaries to preserve dead bodies and also in science laboratories to preserve specimens of dead animals.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, made the condemnation at a sensitization campaign in Onitsha, Anambra State.
She warned that Formalin is carcinogenic, very toxic and dangerous.
Represented by the Director of Narcotics and Controlled Substances, Dr Musa Umar, she explained that Formalin is a chemical used for embalming or preserving copses in the mortuary so that they do not rotten.
Prof. Adeyeye lamented that: “This is a new dangerous practice that has come to the attention of NAFDAC and we are alerting members of the public. “They use Formalin in protecting shelf life of frozen chicken and meat product so that they don’t get rotten, particularly the frozen Chicken that are smuggled through illegal route or border into the country.”
She recalled that the importation of poultry products like Chicken has been banned but expressed concern that “some unscrupulous business people still continue the practice of smuggling in frozen chicken from neighbouring countries.
When they smuggle it in, because they cannot go through the normal route, they have to go through illegal route. “So, a journey that should take them just one day, because they are passing through the bush path and no storage facility, they are forced to use Formalin to preserve the chicken. This is because they have to take three to four days before they can bring it to the market.”
According to her, this is another anomaly that NAFDAC has discovered and called on all and sundry including traditional institutions, opinion and community leaders to please join the agency in the campaign of educating people.
She said it is a collective responsibility of all Nigerians to be very vigilant and help NAFDAC in fighting the menace, reiterating that “NAFDAC is making effort to ensure that people drop these sharp practices because it is injurious to health and is a great disservice to humanity.”
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