The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), has decried the high level of food contamination in Nigerian states like Kano and Lagos.
The FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, Suffyan Koruna, made this known at an event jointly organised by the Federal Ministries of Health and Agriculture in Abuja to celebrate the 2019 World Food Safety Day.
Koruna, who was represented by Mr. Alphonsus Onwuemeka, disclosed that a ‘Total Diet’ study undertaken by the FAO in Lagos and Kano, showed that there was a high level of food contamination in the said areas.
According to him, “A Total Diet Study carried out in Lagos and Kano states showed worrisome levels of contamination of foods at the points of consumption with aflatoxins, mycotoxins, heavy metals such as lead and pesticides residues.”
He noted that this should re-awaken Nigeria to the looming health challenges and economic losses that could result from a lack of attention to food safety.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mr. A. M. Abdullahi, explained that the Federal Government, together with the National Food Safety Management Committee (NFSMC), developed a National Food Safety & Quality Bill which is currently before the National Assembly.
Abdullahi further explained that the bill will lead to food control in the country and enable the consumption of only wholesome foods by citizens.
World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics shows that in 2015, food-borne diseases rendered 600 million people sick and led to a further 420,000 deaths.
The inaugural World Food Safety Day was commemorated worldwide on June 7.