The National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT), has commended the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on the prompt intervention on the imported Indomie ‘special chicken flavour’ noodles
This is contained in a statement issued by the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, NICRAT, Prof. Usman Aliyu in Abuja.
Aliyu’s statement followed ongoing investigations and analysis by NAFDAC in respect of Indomie Instant Noodles in Nigeria.
This followed the news of the recall of Indomie instant noodles (special chicken flavour) by Taiwan and Malaysia authorities on the alleged presence of ”ethylene oxide”, a compound associated with increased cancer risk.
Aliyu said that the institute will be collaborating with NAFDAC to ensure the safety of Nigerians.
“NICRAT is deeply worried that, if found that some brands of Indomie noodles contain ethylyne oxide, then, Nigerians should expect an escalation of various forms of cancers in the months or years ahead, depending on how long people have consumed that brand.
“More worrisome, is that Nigerians should also expect an increase in cancer cases among children because Indomie noddles is a popular food among most Nigerian children.
“Our in-depth review of ethylyne oxide indicates that it is a highly reactive chemical that is used as a raw material to make other compounds such as glycol ethers and polyglycerol ethers, as well as a range of emulsifiers, detergents, and solvents.
“Ethylene oxide is also widely used as a fumigant for cleaning culinary goods, including spices,” he stated.
He noted with concern the fact that cancer has claimed a lot of lives in Nigeria.
In 2020 alone, he said, 78,000 Nigerians died as a result of cancer-related complications (34,200 males and 44,699 females).
He, therefore, advised Nigerians to obey NAFDAC’s instructions on the ban and consumption of Indomie Instant Noodles ‘Special Chicken Flavour’.
There had been reports of NAFDAC reaffirming the ban on the importation of Indomie noodles into the country.
The agency on Tuesday began random sample tests of the noodles and other brands saying its food safety and applied nutrition directorate would randomly sample Indomie noodles (including the seasoning) from the production facilities while the post-marketing surveillance directorate (will) samples from the market.
NAFDAC said ethylene oxide is on the prohibition list of the federal government