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Reps summon Health Minister over packaging of plastic beverages

By Asma’u Ahmad

The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, to appear before it to explain likely effects of using plastic containers to package foods and beverages.

Also the acting Director-Genera of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mrs Yetunde Oni was summoned to appear before the house.

Prof. Isaac Adewole

The decision was sequel to a motion by Rep. Sergius Ogun (Edo-PDP) entitled: “Need to Regulate the Use of Bisphenol “A” (BPA) Plastics in the Production of Bottled Water”.

Moving the motion, Sergius Ogun expressed concern over the effects of drinking water in plastic containers that had been left under the sun or near a heat source, which had been linked to degenerative diseases.

He explained that plastics were hydrocarbons obtained from crude oil which, when heated, became unstable and slowly released chemicals that entered the water.

According to him, most plastics contain a chemical known as Bisphenol “A” (BPA), also known as “environmental estrogen” which causes reproductive defect and neurological abnormalities and prostrate issues.

“During the hot and humid weather, the demand for water is on the increase and as such, production of bottled water is on the rise. The production of bottled water in most parts is unregulated.

“As a result, the use of BPA plastics, which are by far cheaper than the non-BPA, is generally used by companies producing bottled water,” he said.

Other lawmakers that contributed to the debate called for sensitisation of the public on the health hazard of using plastic bottles to package drinks and foods.

The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara. It was referred to the House Committee on Healthcare Services for further legislative action.

About Asmau Ahmad

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