From Tope Musowo, Ado –Ekiti
The Agency responsible for Food and Drug administration and control in Nigeria,(NAFDAC) in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)Ibadan have embarked on a sensitization campaign to educate the public on aflatoxin management in Nigeria.
Speaking at the second edition of the sensitization workshop in the south west zone which took place in Ado-Ekiti during the week , the Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), who was represented by Mrs. Stella Denloye in a keynote Address stated that the objective of the programme was to highlight and bring to the fore the extent of aflatoxin contamination in Nigeria’s stable food and export comodities , the potential health implications of consunming aflatoxing to the population and the negative economic impact on trade and foreign exchange earnings.
According to Dr. Debo Akande and Mr Joseph Atehnkeng, who both represented IITA, Ibadan at the workshop, Aflatoxin is a potent carcinogen produced by some species of Aspergillus fungi, most commonly found in maize and groundnuts which contamination has harmful health effects for the consumers and negative economic consequences for the growers.
Fungal growth and the presence of my cotoxins including Aflatoxins have been implicated as serious food safety advocates of human and animal health as well as trade interests.
Aflatoxins have been implicated in chronic toxicity and in liver cancer, suppression of the immune system, stunted growth in children to name a few. They also pose serious problems in international trade of agricultural products, particularly in grains.
The rapid Alert system of the European Union (RASFF) often cite exports from Nigeria as having more than tolerable units of Aflatoxins, leading to exports rejection and poor credibility of Nigeria products. NAFDAC made this known at the workshop.
The agency, therefore advised the public to stop the habit of purchasing bad cereal and grains for cheaper prize because of its negative health implication.