Adedayo Akinwale and Udora Orizu in Abuja
The House of Representatives has ordered investigation into the alleged use of paracetamol (pain reliever caplet) and bleach to tenderise meat and process cassava in Osun State.
The House ordered the investigation following the adoption of a motion by Hon. Dozie Nwankwo, after the revelation by Osun State Government officials that some caterers and food vendors in the state have been using paracetamol and bleach to tenderise meat and process cassava.
The House, therefore, mandated the National Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and other relevant government bodies to arrest and prosecute all offenders of this provision to serve as deterrent to others, while helping to curtail the continuous perpetuation of such crimes against humanity.
The lawmaker said high dosage of paracetamol comes with toxicity that may lead to kidney and renal failures while the use of bleach to process cassava for Garri is simply food poisoning.
Nwankwo expressed concern on the extent of damage this ‘criminal act’ has had on vital organs of the consumers which include kidneys, liver, heart and small intestines.
He expressed worry that such illicit acts in Osun and other states might have been going on for years without the relevant government agencies doing much to stem it and bring the culprits to book to serve as deterrent to others.
He noted that such food vendors and caterers were deliberately and mischievously destroying their consumers by employing such selfish unhealthy practices to prepare food.
The House, therefore, mandated NAFDAC and other relevant bodies to urgently embark on widespread sensitisation and public awareness against the consumption of food tenderised and processed with paracetamol and bleach.
It also urged “the Ministries of Health, NAFDAC and stakeholders in the industry to develop a blueprint that will ensure constant and regular monitoring and supervision of food vendors and processors to avoid re-occurrence.
“Mandate the House Committee on Healthcare Services to liaise with NAFDAC and Ministries of Health to engage all relevant government agencies charged with the supervision and monitoring of public foods and services with a view to investigating this revelation in Osun, Delta and other states of the federation and report back to the-House within eight weeks for further legislative action.”