By Zayamu Hassan
The National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT) has advised Nigerians to follow the instruction of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on the ban on importation and consumption of Indomie Noddles ‘Special Chicken Flavour’.
The Director General of NICRAT, Prof. Usman Malami, gave the advice in a statement in Abuja.
It would be recalled that two days ago, NAFDAC announced the ban on imported Indomie Noddles because of the alleged presence of cancer-causing agents- ethylyne oxide.
Prof. Malami, however, commended NAFDAC for its prompt intervention to carry out comprehensive investigation to ascertain the level of ethylyne oxide in Indomie Instant Noodles ‘Special Chicken Flavour.
NICRAT, therefore, vowed to “further collaborate with NAFDAC in ensuring the safety and protection of Nigerians from cancer causing agents.”
NICRAT, however, assured Nigerians of its commitment to take cancer prevention, research and treatment to the next level by ensuring that Nigerians are safe from all forms of cancers.
While expressing concern over the alleged presence of a carcinogenic compound (Ethylyne Oxide) in Indomie Instant Noodles ‘Special Chicken Flavour’, NICRAT, DG said: “NICRAT’s review of Ethylyne Oxide shows that the compound has grave consequences to human health, especially, when consumed.
“Our in-dept review of Ethylyne Oxide indicated that it is a highly reactive chemical that is used as a raw material to make other compounds such as glycol ethers and polyglycol ethers, as well as a range of emulsifiers, detergents, and solvents.
“Ethylene oxide is also widely used as a fumigant for cleaning culinary goods, including spices. It is also frequently used to disinfect medical equipment, particularly those that might be harmed by heat sterilization.
“Our review, therefore, revealed that there is sufficient evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of ethylene oxide, and there is strong evidence that the carcinogenicity of ethylene oxide, a direct-acting alkylating agent, operates by a genotoxic mechanism.”
The cancer institute further expressed worry that “if found that some brands of Indomie noodles contain ethylyne oxide, then, Nigerians should expect an escalation of various forms of cancers in the months or years ahead, depending on how long people have consumed that brand.
“More worrisome, is that Nigerians should also expect an increase in cancer cases among children because Indomie noddles is a popular food among most Nigerian children.
“NICRAT’s concern is premised on the fact that, cancer has claimed a lot of lives in Nigeria. In 2020 alone, 78,000 Nigerians died as a result of cancer related complications (34,200 males and 44,699 fameless).”