The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) will soon commence the closure of factories of any edible food producers whose products fail to meet the mandatory micronutrient fortification compliance test, Benue State Coordinator of NAFDAC, Anikoh Ibrahim, said.
He made this known on Friday when he led officials of the agency to markets in the state, on an on the spot random testing for micronutrient fortification compliance in sugar, flour, salt and vegetable oil products, being sold in the market.
Ibrahim, who decried the level of micronutrient deficiency among Nigerian children between the ages of one and five, lamented that the agency embarked on the nationwide exercise “because it has been discovered one in four children under the age of five in Nigeria suffers from Vitamin A deficiency while about 31 percent of mothers in Nigeria are iodine deficient.”
He stated that malnutrition among children, the death of young mothers during childbirth due to anaemia and the poor learning ability of children were all consequences of micronutrient deficiencies.
“This is the more reason why it is the right of every Nigerian to consume fortified foods to guard against diseases and untimely deaths; hence it is therefore important that consumers begin to demand for fortified staples.
“I must therefore hasten to say that in the event of non-compliance to mandatory food fortification by manufacturers of vegetable oil, wheat/maize flour and sugar, necessary sanctions will be applied which includes immediate closure of the concerned factories.”
The NAFDAC State Coordinator added that the punitive measures would also include the payment of administrative fines, withdrawal of products from markets and destruction of same by the agency.
He stated that most of the products that were subjects to the random test met the minimum fortification standards but added that manufacturers of products that failed the test would be notified accordingly.
Source : Independent