The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has issued a strong cautionary advisory to the public, urging them to refrain from purchasing unbranded cereals from open markets. This warning comes as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to ensure food safety and consumer protection. Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General of NAFDAC, conveyed this message during a significant engagement with stakeholders from the food sector in Lagos.
Adeyeye emphasized the critical nature of NAFDAC’s certification, stating unequivocally that consuming products lacking NAFDAC’s endorsement is ill-advised. She underlined that unbranded items found in the market are devoid of NAFDAC’s essential registration and marketing authorization numbers, which play a vital role in assuring the quality and safety of food products.
The director general further directed her attention towards food manufacturing companies, issuing a stern warning regarding their responsibilities. She firmly stated that the agency will no longer tolerate the improper disposal of expired or stolen products that find their way into the market through scavengers at waste dump sites. This practice not only poses a threat to unsuspecting consumers, particularly children, but also compromises the integrity of the food supply chain.
Adeyeye highlighted that products that have undergone NAFDAC’s rigorous regulatory scrutiny are marked with distinctive registration numbers. She stressed that these certified products are the only ones that can be confidently deemed safe for consumption.
Citing instances from previous years, the statement revealed that NAFDAC conducted extensive investigations and enforcement actions related to unbranded cereals, leading to the apprehension of individuals engaged in online sales of such products, particularly in Onitsha. The culprits were subsequently brought to Lagos to face the consequences of their actions.
The director general exposed a disturbing trend involving certain industries complicit in the distribution of unbranded cereals. She disclosed that investigations had unveiled cases where cereals were sourced from dump sites in Agbara, a clear violation of food safety standards.
Adeyeye also shed light on the proper disposal protocols for expired or subpar products. She emphasized that companies should engage NAFDAC’s Investigation and Enforcement Directorate for the appropriate disposal methods, rather than resorting to waste disposal authorities. Failing to do so could lead to these products ending up in the hands of scavengers who then reintroduce them into the market.