The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned that drugs sold in the open market are poisonous and dangerous to human health.
The NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, gave the warning at the North-Central media sensitisation workshop on the dangers of drug hawking and ripening of fruits with calcium carbide in Lafia.
Represented by Dr Leonard Omokpariola, Adeyeye said that ripening of fruits with calcium carbide is poisonous and dangerous to the health of consumers.
The NAFDAC boss added that drug hawkers are also major distributors and suppliers of narcotic medicines to criminal networks such as bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and armed robbers.
“So many drug hawkers are knowingly or unknowingly merchants of death who expose essential and life-saving medicines to the vagaries of inclement weather which degrade the active ingredients of the medicine and turn them to poisons thus endangering human lives.”
The Director General who also warns Nigerians against the consumption of fruits ripened with calcium carbide noted that the development “is another public challenge facing us today and the Agency has deployed a multifaceted approach to tackle the menace.”
She warned that the consumption of fruits ripened with carbide could cause “cancer, heart, kidney and liver failure. It may also cause frequent thirst, irritation in mouth and nose, weakness, permanent skin damage, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, skin ulcer and so forth.”
She also pointed out that the Agency had observed that bulk industrial food or ingredients that were not in the retail pack were being sold illegally in markets. “These bulk items are openly displayed and measured to unassuming buyers with little or no care from contamination.”
While assuring that the agency was tackling the unacceptable market place practice, Prof. Adeyeye advised the public to desist from buying “dangerous non-retailed packed items from the market to prevent the risk of taking contaminated, substandard, expired and adulterated food or food fraud with grave health implications.”
Earlier, the President of ANHJ, Mr. Hassan Zaggi who commended NAFDAC for organising the worship urged Journalists to lead the campaign to alert Nigerians of the untoward activities that endanger their health.