• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Consuming artificially ripened fruits may cause cancer, kidney failure – NAFDAC

How international exposure has given NAFDAC’s Moji Adeyeye an edge over the management of regulatory processes and falsified medicines’ vendors

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised concerns over the act of artificial ripening fruits with carbide, warning that it may cause cancer, kidney and liver failure.

Mojisola Adeyeye, director general of NAFDAC raised this concern at the flag-off of its sensitization workshop on dangers of drug hawking and ripening of fruits with calcium carbides in Abuja.

She informed the audience that calcium carbide generally contains impurities such as arsenic, lead particles, phosphorus, etc., that pose several very serious health hazards.

“The consumption of fruits such as mango, banana, plantain, guava, orange, grape, etc or any other fruits ripened with calcium carbide is dangerous to health”, she warned.

“The may also cause frequent thirst, irritation in mouth and nose, weakness, permanent skin damage, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, skin ulcer and so forth. Higher exposure may cause undesired fluid build-up in lungs (pulmonary oedema).

She further warned that the impurities, found in calcium carbide are hazardous to pregnant women and children and may lead to health issues such as mental confusion, memory loss, cerebral oedema (swelling in the brain caused by excessive fluids), sleepiness, seizure among others.

The DG informed that friits artificially ripened with calcium carbide may be ripe on the skin, the inside remain unripe. According to her, you can identify such artificially ripened fruits if you notice that the fruits are all yellow whereas the stem is dark, this is true especially with banana and plantain. In addition, naturally ripened fruits usually have brown or black spots, while those artificially ripened have traces of powdery substances and peel off quickly.”

The DG also expressed concerns over illegal hawking of drugs in the open markets across the country, describing the hawkers as merchants of deaths.

She noted that the menace of drug hawking poses serious challenge to healthcare delivery system in the country and this underscored NAFDAC’s resolute determination to totally eradicate the illicit trade.

“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”, she said

“Most of the drugs sold by the illiterate and semi-literate drug hawkers are counterfeit, substandard or expired, and therefore do not meet the quality, safety and efficacy requirement of regulated medicines”.

The NAFDAC DG explained that drugs are sensitive life-saving commodities which should not be sold on the streets/motor parks or open markets just like any other article of trade.”

The DG, therefore warned that any drug hawker arrested by NAFDAC will be prosecuted, will face a jail term, and its enforcement officers are currently carrying out synchronized nation-wide operation.

“No offender will be spared from facing the full wrath of the law. In this regard, we solicit the co-operation and support of all other law enforcement agencies, Nigerian journalists and well-meaning Nigerians in riding the country of this harmful and shameful practice”, she said.