The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has warned the members of the public to be careful of the place and type of frozen chicken they by as some business men and women now use Formalin-a chemical used for preserving copses to preserve frozen chicken and meat.
The agency, therefore, condemned the action, describing it as an act of wickedness which needs to be stopped.
Formalin is a disinfectant which is widely used in mortuaries to preserve dead bodies and also in science laboratories to preserve specimens of dead animals.
The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, raised the concern at a sensitization campaign in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Represented by the Director of Narcotics and Controlled Substances, Dr Musa Umar, she explained that Formalin is a chemical used for embalming or preserving copses in the mortuary so that they do not get rotten.
Prof. Adeyeye lamented that: “This is a new dangerous practice that has come to the attention of NAFDAC and we are alerting members of the public.
“They use of Formalin in protecting shelf life of frozen chicken and meat product so that they don’t get rotten, particularly the frozen chicken that are smuggled through illegal route or border into the country.”
She recalled that the importation of poultry products like chicken has been banned but expressed concern that “some unscrupulous business men and women are still continuing the practice of going to our neigbouring countries to smuggle in frozen chicken.
“When they smuggle it in, because they cannot go through the normal route, they have to go through illegal route.
“So, a journey that should take them just one day, because they are passing through the bush path and no storage facility, they are forced to use Formalin to preserve the chicken. This is because they have to take three to four days before they can bring it to the market.”
The NAFDAC Director General insisted that Formalin is carcinogenic, very toxic and dangerous.
According to her, this is another anomaly that NAFDAC has discovered and called on all and sundry including traditional institution, opinion and community leaders to please join her agency in the campaign and educating people.
She appealed that it is the collectively responsibility of all Nigerians to be very vigilant and help NAFDAC in fighting the menace, reiterating that “NAFDAC is making effort to ensure that people drop these sharp practices because it is injurious to health and is a great disservice to humanity.”