Consumers of animal hides popularly referred to as ‘ponmo’ have been warned by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) against consuming the product.
According to the agency’s findings, most of the animal hides flooding the markets are illegally imported and thus are not subject to stringent testing.
This much was contained in a statement signed by the Director General (DG) of NAFDAC, Mrs Mojisola Adeyeye.
“The Management of NAFDAC wishes to use this medium to alert the general public and in particular consumers of animal hides popularly known as Ponmo on the activities of some unscrupulous business men and traders.
“These imported animal hides are meant for industrial use by leather industries for the manufacturing of items such as shoes, bag, belt and others.
“Health hazards inherent in the consumption of such animal hides include risk of liver, kidney and heart damage, increased risk of Aplastic anaemia, central nervous system toxicity, cancer and many more,’’ she said.
The DG revealed that industrial chemicals were used to treat this ‘ponmo’ and as such, if consumed, would pose a significant health risk.
“The associated chemicals will be stored in the tissues of these animals and will eventually end up in humans when consumed with the attendant effects.
“NAFDAC, therefore, encourage the general public to be vigilant and exercise discretion when purchasing animal hides, ‘ponmo’ and indeed other food items,’’ she said.
Adeyeye said the agency is carrying out surprise inspection tours of spots where these animal hides are being sold, saying the agency will not relent in its duty to ensure standard in food processing in Nigeria.