The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says it has impounded 120 tons of dangerous animal hides and skins, popularly known as ‘ponmo’, have been seized.
The consification was made public through a statement issued on Sunday by the Director General of the agency, Mojisola Adeyeye who also said the agency has also detained seven merchants responsible for importing the product.
She however warned Nigerians to be cautious when buying animal hides and to also be mindful of traders selling industrial animal hides as consumables.
The NAFDAC DG said the agency conducted raids on some locations in Lagos where traders were found purchasing the product.
She said the samples have been sent to the laboratory for testing to ascertain their quality.
“Monitoring was also extended to some buyers who patronize the sellers and custodians of the warehouse,” the statement reads.
“NAFDAC wishes to advise consumers and retailers of ponmo not to patronize importers of hides and skins for consumable animal skins.
“The street value of the product currently intercepted is estimated to be around N25.330m only.”
According to the NAFDAC DG , the hides are pre-treated with industrial chemicals which could cause health problems such as liver and kidney disease, heart damage, increased risk of aplastic anaemia, central nervous system toxicity and cancer.
“The general public is hereby encouraged to be very vigilant and exercise discretion when purchasing animal hides PONMO and indeed other food items,” Adeyeye said.
“NAFDAC is fully alive to her responsibilities of assuring the safety, wholesomeness, and quality of processed foods offered for sale to the public.”