No plastic rice in Nigeria -NAFDAC

Ebun Francis

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control  said laboratory test on the suspected fake rice impounded by Nigeria Custom Service in the Ikeja area of Lagos early in December showed that the product was not plastic but  rice contaminated with micro organisms.

Yetunde Oni, the Acting DG of the Agency made the disclosure on Thursday at a news conference flanked by officials of Nigeria Custom Service in Abuja.

She explained that the product with the brand name ‘Best Tomato’ without NAFDAC number, batch number and date markings  was unsatisfactory and therefore unwholesome for human consumption, stressing that the consignment would be destroyed upon handover by the Nigeria Custom Service.

According to Oni, `floating’ was negative, sedimentation was positive, cooking was normal, odour was normal, colour was off-white and E-coli was within specification. Lead and cadmium were not detected, pre-ashing was normal, ash, moisture and mould were within specification but coli form was above maximum limits.

She therefore called on the public to report suspicious cases about all NAFDAC regulated products to any of the offices across the nation for prompt regulatory action on 08013630600, 09094262773 and 08033112282.

The Comptroller-General, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali, who was represented by Umar Iya, a Deputy Comptroller- General, said irrespective of the outcome of the laboratory analysis, customs would remain vigilant and alive to its responsibilities.

According to him, ”Intelligence reports indicate that several metric tonnes of expired and dangerous rice are still lying in wait in warehouses in neighbouring countries and the target of the products is the Nigerian market”.

He urged warehouse owners and transporters across the country not to accept such smuggled products in their facilities or vehicles respectively.