National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has said it is making efforts to ensure the elimination of trans-fats consumption in food.
Speaking at a press briefing to announce the gazette of reviewed Fats, Oil, and Food containing Fats and Oil Regulation 2022 and Pre-Packaged Food Labelling Regulation 2022, Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said the move came as part of efforts to reduce the rising cases of Non-Communicable Diseases and attendant deaths.
NCDs, also called chronic diseases, including hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease were linked to the consumption of trans-fatty acid.
She said, “The World Health Organisation statistics indicate that NCDs, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, were collectively responsible for 74% of all deaths worldwide.”
Adeyeye promised to fully implement the regulations to protect public health.
She said the emergence of the reviewed regulations implied that the 2005 versions stood repealed without jeopardising whatever was purportedly done in the spirit of the old versions.
She said the United Nations agency released an action package called ‘Replace’, which includes policy recommendations and interventions for governments.
According to her, WHO has recommended one of these two policy pathways for implementation: banning the use of partially hydrogenated oils – the source of industrially produced TFAs in all foods or; setting limits on the amount of industrially produced TFAs to not more than two per cent of the total fat content in all foods.
“I am delighted to announce that in Nigeria we are already working with the industry and our partners to find alternative sources to the existing partially hydrogenated oils that are the source of industrially produced Trans-fats.”
Adeyeye said that the Agency was collaborating with the Network for Health Equity and Development, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, Global Health Advocacy Incubator, GHAI, and GHAI. Speaking, Executive Director, CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said with the regulations in place, stakeholders would be able to combat some risk factors of NCDs.
Written by: Glory Igwe