NAFDAC investigates poisonous plantain chips allegations

THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it is probing a widely shared social media post in which a woman allegedly used polythene-laced oil to fry plantain chips.

In a statement by NAFDAC’s resident media consultant, Sayo Akintola, on Saturday, January 20, the agency said it was taking a science-based approach to evaluate the claim before taking action.

The organization reassured the public that it was committed to protecting public health.

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Before slicing plantains to prepare chips, the viral clip purports that a woman melted roughly five pieces of “olonka rubber” (polythene) into oil and claimed that adding the polythene makes chips stronger and more durable after frying.

NAFDAC said in its statement, ‘The attention of the management of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has been drawn to viral posts making the rounds on social media where an individual was reporting the alleged frying of plantain chips by a woman who before she grated the plantain into the hot oil melted about five of the white polythene, what we call ‘olonka rubber’ into the oil.”

However, the agency noted that the post began circulating before the date the practice was allegedly observed without indicating the geographical location.



    “The agency is taking a science-based approach in her response to the alleged claim and will conduct necessary laboratory investigation into the claim. In the meantime, our advice to the public who consume NAFDAC-regulated food products remains the same and centres around being vigilant as consumers,” the statement added.

    While advising Nigerians to buy NAFDAC-regulated food products, the agency stated that citizens should only purchase from credible sources while checking for NAFDAC registration numbers on product labels.

    It also warned against buying products with suspicious packaging, objectionable smell/colour, or unrealistically low prices.

    Reacting to the video earlier, the Lagos state Consumer Protection Agency had urged the public to be cautious of any unwholesome activities in processing plantains for sale.


    Fatimah Quadri is a Journalist and a Fact-checker at The ICIR. She has written news articles, fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy in an effort to combat information disinformation.
    She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected]

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