The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned that cancer, kidney disease and hypertension is the end result of those that consume imported frozen poultry products.
Unfortunately, the warning has not deterred many Nigerians from consuming them. According to a former NAFDAC Director-General, Dr Paul Orhii, the risk in the products comes as a result of substances that can predispose one to kidney, liver and lung diseases as well as certain types of cancer and drug resistant bacterial infections among others.
Medical experts believe that consumption of the products can be a silent-killer because they may not show symptoms before attacking. Apart from the health implications of the products, the importation also impedes local poultry production as farmers have to contend with low market demand.
Findings have shown that about 50 million Nigerians eat imported chicken, turkey and fishes almost on a daily basis. According to a veterinary expert, Dr. Tito Adebanjo, the use of formalin, a chemical used to embalm corpses and other dangerous substances, to preserve the poultry products, is a cancer-causing chemical also capable of causing liver and kidney diseases.
“There is little or no mechanisms at our sea ports to screen or detect the residues of chemicals used in the frozen meat being imported to Nigeria, yet the foods find their way to our markets for consumption. Even the ones produced locally, no one really tests them, let alone find out the level of drug residues in them before they are sold to unsuspecting members of the public,” Adebanjo explained.