By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday mandated the Federal Ministry of health and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and other relevant government bodies to arrest and prosecute all offenders of the alleged use of paracetamol and bleach to tenderize meat to serve as deterrent to others.
The House equally, asked NAFDAC and other relevant bodies to urgently embark on widespread sensitization and public awareness against the consumption of food tenderized and processed with paracetamol and bleach, while helping to curtail the continuous perpetuation of such crimes against humanity.
It also urged the Ministries of Health, NAFDAC and stakeholders in the eatery industry to develop a blueprint that will ensure constant and regular monitoring and supervision of food vendors and processors to avoid reoccurrence.
These resolutions of the House followed a motion moved by Hon. Dozie Ferdinand Nwankwo, on the “urgent need to investigate the alleged use of Paracetamol and Bleach to tenderize meat and process cassava in Osun State and across the Federal”.
Nwankwo noted with dismay the revelation by Osun State government officials that some caterers and food vendors in the State have been using paracetamol and bleach to tenderize meat and process cassava.
He said “Aware that high dosage of paracetamol comes with toxicity that may lead to kidney and renal failures, while the use of bleach to process cassava for garri is simply food poisoning.
“Concerned about the extent of damage this criminal act has had on vital organs of the consumers which include kidneys, liver, heart and small intestines.
“Worried that such illicit acts in Osun State and other states may have been going on for years without the relevant government agencies doing much to stem it and bring the culprits to book to serve as deterrent.
“Disturbed that such food vendors and caterers are deliberately and mischievously destroying their consumers by employing such selfish unhealthy practices to prepare food”, he said.
The House however Mandated its Committee on Healthcare Services to liaise with NAFDAC and Ministries of Health to engage all relevant government agencies charged with the supervision and monitoring of public foods and services with a view to investigating this revelation in Osun, Delta and other states of the federation and report back to the House within eight weeks for further legislative action.