By Asmau Ahmad
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says the body has gazetted the reviewed Fats, Oil and Food containing Fats and Oil Regulation 2022, in a bid to safeguard the health of Nigerians.
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye the Director-General of NAFDAC who made this known in a briefing in Lagos on Monday, said the agency also gazetted Pre-Packaged Food Labelling Regulation 2022.
Adeyeye said the development was in line with the 2018 World Health Assembly in Geneva to eliminate industrially-produced Trans Fatty Acid (TFAs) from global food supplies to reduced Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) globally.
According to her, the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics indicate that NCDs, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, are collectively responsible for 74 per cent of all deaths worldwide.
She said that in Nigeria, NCDs were estimated to account for about a quarter of total deaths, noting that the probability of dying between ages 30 & 70 years from the main NCDs is 20 per cent.
Adeyeye said: “NAFDAC gazetted two regulations on fat and oil to determine the minimal amount allowable in foods to safeguard the health of Nigerians. We also have the labelling gazette that will show the quantity of milligrams of fat and oil in our food.
“The emergence of these two reviewed regulations implies that the 2005 versions of these two regulations stands as repealed regulations without jeopardy from whatever was purportedly done.
“What we eat can kill and we want to make sure Nigerians don’t eat what will kill them.
“WHO has recommended one of these two policy pathways for implementation by banning the use of partially hydrogenated oils, that is the source of industrially produced TFAs, in all foods.
“Setting limits on the amount of industrially produced TFAs not to be more than 2% of the total fat content in all Foods.”
She said the implementation of the regulations would be strictly carried out to yield the expected result.
The director general said the agency in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Justice and the Trans-Fat Coalition Partners in Nigeria, had worked assiduously to achieving the two-prong pathways.
She said other partners included Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED), Corporate Accountability & Public Participation Africa (CAPPA).
Mr Atanda John, the Director of Food Safety and Quality at the Federal Ministry of Health said the ministry would come up with policy to support the reviews carried out by NAFDAC.
John said the regulations which was aimed to safequard the health of Nigerians, would also be backed up by law.