The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and other stakeholders have raised serious concern on the global health implications of transfat foods and oils.
This is as they called for effective regulation and the need for effort at all levels in the value food chain to reduce the transfat effects.
Particularly, they want the Fats, Oils Regulations 2022, gazetted.
The stakeholders were speaking at an SME-MEDIA meeting organized in Lagos by the CAPPA.
CAPPA Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, called for effective legislation, just as he harped on the need for more enlightenment, sensitization and public awareness.
AbdulSalam Ozigis, NAFDAC Director, from Abuja office, who represented NAFDAC D-G, Dr Monica Emunjeze set the professional tone of the conversation, disclosing that “The effects of Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) and their attendant Trans-Fatty acids in addition to Saturated Fats are of great concern globally due its health hazards” but he assured that “NAFDAC is at the forefront through effective regulation in combating and reducing this menace in Nigeria’s food supply”.
She said the country needs strong regulation and collaboration in tackling the menace, just as she disclosed further that the Fats, Oils Regulations 2022, is at the final stage of gazetting waiting signing by the Honorable Minister of Health.
“A strong regulation and collaboration is what we need now. A strong Regulation is a critical tool. The Fats and Oils Regulations 2005, is still in existence. The Fats, Oils Regulations 2022, is at the final stage of gazetting awaiting signing by the Honorable Minister of Health” She noted.
She said the reviewed Regulation shall apply to edible fats, oils and foods containing edible fats and oils that are manufactured, imported, exported, advertised, sold, distributed or used in Nigeria.
According to NAFDAC D-G “A person shall not manufacture, package, import, export, advertise, distribute, display for sale, offer for sale, sell or use edible fats and oils as specified in the First Schedule to these Regulations in Nigeria unless, it has been registered in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations.
“Where a product within the scope of these Regulations is found to contravene the provisions therein, the Agency shall initiate a mandatory recall as provided in the Recall, Handling and Disposal of Unwholesome and Adulterated Food and Food Products Regulations”.
On the issue of labeling of fasts and oil, She disclosed that “In addition to compliance with the Pre-Packaged Food (Labelling) Regulations 2022, a refined oil obtained from a single botanical source shall, in addition to the brand name and the specific name of the particular oil present, be so indicated on the label; for example “Refined Sunflower Seed Oil”;
a refined oil obtained from multi botanical sources, where two or more oils are blended together, shall be so indicated on the label provided that the specific names of the oils are listed in the list of ingredients, for example “Refined Sunflower Seed Oil Blend” or “Refined Vegetable Oil Blend”.
Emunjeze noted further that “Fats, Oils, and foods containing fats and oils intended for human consumption of which the content of trans-fat exceeds 2g per 100g of fat or oil are prohibited.
“No “Trans-fat and Cholesterol free” claims shall be made on the label or in an advertisement.
“Nutritional Labelling shall be mandatory for fats, oils and foods containing fats and oils, stating the amount and type of Saturated Fats, Trans Fatty Acids, Mono and Polyunsaturated Fats and Cholesterol”.
On the issue of forfeiture after conviction, she explained that ”A person convicted of an offence under the Regulations shall forfeit to the Federal Government of Nigeria –Any asset or property constituting proceeds derived from or obtained, directly or indirectly, as a result of the offence;
“Any of the person’s property or instrument used in any manner to commit or to facilitate the commission of the offence”.
Representatives of SME organisations who were present pledged to comply with the transfat regulations, as advocates and campaigners, influencers, media etc. promised to amplify their voices in creating and sustaining the needed awareness.