NAFDAC seizes 120 tonnes of imported ponmo in Lagos

THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has intercepted 120 tonnes of dangerous animal hides and skin popularly known as ‘ponmo’ in Lagos.

The agency also said it arrested seven merchants of the commodity.

The Director-General of NAFDAC Mojisola Adeyeye warned the general public, particularly consumers of ponmo, against the activities of some dishonest businessmen and traders selling industrial animal hides as foodstuffs.


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Adeyeye, in a statement released on Sunday by the agency’s Resident Media Consultant Sayo Akintola, disclosed that NAFDAC officials carried out investigations around specific locations where the alleged products were being warehoused and sold.

The statement explained that the investigations were in response to several complaints received from the public about the alleged sale and distribution of imported hides and skin meant for use in leather industries, which had already been processed with industrial chemicals.

The complaints received by NAFDAC suggested that the hides and skin were being sold to unsuspecting members of the public as consumable animal skin products, otherwise called ponmo.

“Monitoring was also extended to some buyers who patronise the sellers and custodians of the warehouse”, Adeyeye said, according to the statement.

In addition, she said that preliminary investigation revealed that some of the hides and skin were imported illegally and diverted to some merchants who re-process them before selling to members of the public.

Adeyeye disclosed that 120 tonnes of the products were intercepted at six different locations in Lagos during a raid, adding that seven suspects alleged to be involved in the act are currently under investigation.




     

     

    The NAFDAC boss further explained that samples of the products had been sent to the laboratory for testing.

    She added, “The street value of the product currently intercepted is estimated to be around N25.330 million.

    “NAFDAC wishes to advise consumers and retailers of ponmo not to patronise importers of hides and skins for consumable animal skins.”

    Noting that the hides are pre-treated with industrial chemicals which are not of food-grade and are toxic and harmful to human health, she warned that the consequence of eating them include the risk of liver, kidney and heart damage, increased risk of Aplastic anaemia, central nervous system toxicity, cancer, and several other diseases.

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