Banned tomato pastes flood Nigerian market, NAFDAC raises the alarm



Banned tomato pastes flood Nigerian market, NAFDAC raises the alarm


The federal government, through National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has said despite the ban on importation of tomato pastes in the country, there has been unabated flooding of the Nigerian market with imported and unregistered tomato pastes to the detriment of local manufacturers, the economy and the health of the consumers.


NAFDAC lamented that such was as a result of the nefarious activities of some unscrupulous businessmen, who insisted on bringing these products in spite of its ban three years ago.


The Director of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, and Chairman of Federal Task Force, NAFDAC, Barr. Kingsley Ejiofor, in a statement, said extensive surveillance shows that some stores, open markets, supermarkets and community provision shops across Lagos, stock and display for sale, banned, imported and unregistered canned tomato pastes.


He said the agency has mopped up over 3, 000 cartons of imported and unregistered tomato paste on the sale and/or display for sale in supermarkets and major markets in Lagos as well as its environs, worth over N225 million in three weeks.


Recall that in 2019, the importation of canned/tinned tomato paste, powder, or concentrate, was banned and its tariffs were increased from five per cent to 50 per cent in a bid to ensure that they are properly certified by NAFDAC to certain their wholesomeness.


Ejiofor stated that prior to the ban, NAFDAC reportedly carried out a study and laboratory analysis of the tomato content of sample brands taken from the major markets in Lagos and the study revealed that 91.1 per cent of the imported tomato paste was unsatisfactory.


He said, “The ban placed on imported and unregistered canned tomato pastes should, in no small measure, curb a lot of health challenges. There are reports of tinned tomato pastes with more sugar content than the recommended body intake; nearly eight grammes per can, which is almost a third of what an average adult needs.


“Also of great concern is the high acidic nature in some of these food particles that may cause Biphenyl A (BPA) to leach out over time. This is especially true if the can is scratched, dented or damaged in any way and may result in an increased risk of cancer for regular consumers of the canned products.”


Ejiofor said NAFDAC was not relenting in her fight against unscrupulous individuals as further investigation would be carried out and offenders who undertake these illicit acts, while making profits to the detriment of human health, would be dealt with to the full extent of the law.


The Director also appealed to members of the public to remain vigilant and desist from purchasing fake, unwholesome, counterfeit, and unregistered products.


He urged the public to help the agency to safeguard public health and ultimately eradicate such products from society by reporting any suspicious activity to the nearest NAFDAC’s office.




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