The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, on Thursday, raided the Sheik Gumi market in Kaduna State and seized unregistered and expired tomato paste worth over N2 million.
The agency said 75 cartons of expired and unregistered tomato paste of various brands were seized from 16 shops in the market.
The Deputy Director, Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC, Kaduna Office, Tamanuwa Andrew, said the raid was in line with the ban on the importation of tomato paste by the Federal Government in 2019.
He said since the ban on the importation of tin tomato paste, the agency had been carrying out raids on unregistered and banned tomato paste across markets in the country.
“In September 2022 in Lagos, the Director of Investigation and Enforcement held a press briefing on the raid carried out in the state alone, where open and supermarkets and shops were raided and over 3,000 cartons of unregistered tin tomatoes were confiscated”.
Andrew noted that NAFDAC would continue to discharge its duty and not shy away from its responsibilities of ensuring a healthy nation.
He disclosed that their surveillance has shown that open and supermarkets, and provision stores were still importing banned tomato paste through illegal ways which he described as a setback to the economy and local manufacturers.
“Since those unpatriotic Nigerians are not willing to stop smuggling those banned items, we are also not willing to stop going after them till we rid our markets of such products,” he said.
Andrew further said that they would visit other markets to carry out similar exercises.
He explained that the reason why some of the food products were banned was that some of them contain substances that has cancer agents.
“In tomato paste, there is a substance called biphenyl which is dangerous for human consumption. Accumulation of the substance in the body will result in cancer.
He noted that during festivities, counterfeiters and smugglers always flood the market with harmful products.
He said investigations of those found with the tomato paste would begin and upon conclusion, they would face the law.
He restated the commitment of NAFDAC the NCoS to ensure safe markets where consumers would buy the right and quality-assured products for consumption. NAN