Indomie: More Nigerian children, others to expect cancer – Institute

THE National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT) has predicted that cancer cases will rise in Nigeria in the coming years.

In a statement signed by its Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Usman Aliyu, a professor, on Wednesday, May 3, the organisation said the discovery of cancer-causing chemical in one of the indomie brands – special chicken flavour – should be a great concern to Nigerians.

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The NICRAT said in 2020 alone, cancer killed 78,000 Nigerians (34,200 males and 44,699 females). 

The NICRAT, created by an Act in 2017, is an agency with the mandate to prevent, conduct research and treat cancers in Nigeria.

It said it was deeply worried that if some brands of Indomie noodles contain ethylene oxide, then  Nigerians should expect an escalation of various forms of cancers in the months or years ahead, depending on how long people have consumed the brand. 

According to the organisation, Nigerians should also expect an increase in cancer cases among children because indomie noodles are a popular food among most Nigerian children. 

Indomie brands are a major staple food in Nigeria

The ICIR reports that indomie is a staple food in many homes in Nigeria, cherished by children and adults. Because of its popularity, many people in the country identify all noodle products as indomie.

The product became popular in Nigeria in the ’90s, though it was first produced in Indonesian, the current headquarters of its manufacturer, in 1972.

Indofood is one of the largest instant noodles manufacturers worldwide. The products are in over 100 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

The product comes in many varieties, from classic soup flavours such as chicken, vegetable, and curry to its most popular flavour indomie mi goreng. 

Its manufacturer claims it produces 19 billion packs annually.

Manufacturers says indomie safe, but countries are skeptical

The ICIR reported how INDOFOOD, the producer of indomie products, debunked Taiwan and Malaysia’s claim that indomie chicken flavour contained Ethylene Oxide, a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemical and the product was unsafe for consumption.

The two countries consequently recalled the product.

Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it launched major investigation into the product varieties on Tuesday, May 2. But the result is not yet available.

Our findings on chemical – NICRAT

In its Wednesday statement, NICRAT explained that its review of Ethylene Oxide showed that the compound has grave consequences for human health, especially when consumed. 

“Our in-depth review of Ethylene Oxide indicated that it is a highly reactive chemical that is used as a raw material to make other compounds such as glycol ethers and polyglycol ethers, as well as a range of emulsifiers, detergents, and solvents.  

“Ethylene oxide is also widely used as a fumigant for cleaning culinary goods, including spices. It is also frequently used to disinfect medical equipment, particularly those that might be harmed by heat sterilisation. 

“Our review, therefore, revealed that there is sufficient evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of ethylene oxide, and there is strong evidence that the carcinogenicity of ethylene oxide, a direct-acting alkylating agent, operates by a genotoxic mechanism.”



    The organisation commended NAFDAC for conducting a comprehensive investigation to ascertain the magnitude of the chemical.

    It appealed to Nigerians to adhere to NAFDAC’s instructions on the product. The Institute also promised to collaborate with NAFDAC in ensuring the safety and protection of Nigerians from cancer-causing agents. 

    It also assured Nigerians of its commitment to taking cancer prevention, research and treatment to the next level by ensuring that Nigerians are safe from all forms of cancer. 

    The ICIR reported how the Indonesian government, where the indomie manufacturer is headquartered, admitted the product contained the chemical but said it was safe for consumption.

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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    1. The price of the indomie is going higher everyday, even one piece of indomitable is higher than a cup of some Nigeria Rice, please if indomie is this diedly, please can you ban it in Nigeria for everybody safety

    2. Then let the production of noodles stop for crying out loud. Enough of thus politics with the citizens lives

    3. Apparently indomie noodles is one of the cheapest food in nigeria. And believe me, the poople in power do not care about these nigerian children. Alot of their their children do not eat noodles made in nigeria.


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