Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives on Thursday mandated the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to check the practice of using paracetamol and bleach products to tenderise meat and process cassava.
The House further mandated NAFDAC and other concerned agencies to urgently mount a public awareness campaign on the dangers of consumption of food tenderised and processed with paracetamol and bleach.
The Green Chamber directed NAFDAC and relevant government agencies to arrest and prosecute food vendors and caterers who use paracetamol and bleach in food processing.
It also directed the Ministry of Health and NAFDAC to develop a blueprint for constant monitoring and supervision of food vendors and processors.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Dozie Nwankwo on “the need to investigate the alleged use of paracetamol to tenderise meat and bleach to process cassava in Osun State and across the federation”.
Nwankwo, in his lead debate, said the recent revelation by the Osun State government that some food vendors and caterers in the state have been using paracetamol to tenderise meat and bleach to process cassava is a cause for concern.
He stated that food vendors and caterers engaged in the practice are deliberately and mischievously endangering consumers of their products.
The lawmaker noted that that “high dosage of paracetamol comes with toxicity that may lead to kidney and renal failure, while the use of bleach to process cassava for garri is simply food poisoning.”
He expressed concerns over the extent of damage the practice may have on the kidney, liver and other vital organs of consumers.
“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 a deterrent,” the lawmaker said.