The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has declared its intention to probe accusations regarding the existence of cancer-causing substances in Indomie noodles, a well-known brand in Nigeria.
This comes after health officials in Malaysia and Taiwan detected the compound ethylene oxide in Indomie’s special chicken flavour noodles.
Ethylene oxide is a colourless and odourless gas commonly used to sterilise medical equipment and plastics, but it is also known to be carcinogenic. Malaysia and Taiwan have since recalled Indomie special chicken flavour noodles from their shelves.
Indofood, the makers of Indomie noodles, has denied the allegations, stating that the product is safe for consumption. Taufik Wiraatmadja, a member of the board of directors at Indofoods, stated that the noodles received standard certifications and were produced in compliance with international food safety regulations.
In response to the allegations, NAFDAC, the Nigerian regulatory body responsible for food and drug safety, announced that it will begin random sample tests of the noodles and other brands starting from May 2, 2023. The agency is investigating the matter after receiving news of the recall of the products by the Malaysian and Taiwanese authorities. Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC director-general, said the compound of interest is ethylene oxide, and that the director of the food lab services directorate is working on the methodology for analysis.
NAFDAC has also reiterated that Indomie noodles have been banned from being imported into Nigeria for many years and is one of the foods on the government’s prohibition list. Therefore, the product is not registered with NAFDAC. The agency has taken this extra caution to ensure that the product is not being smuggled into Nigeria, and the public will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.
“What we are doing is an extra caution to ensure that the product is not smuggled in and if so, our post-marketing surveillance would detect it. We also want to be sure that the spices used for the Indomie and other noodles in Nigeria are tested.
“That is what NAFDAC food safety and applied nutrition (FSAN) and post-marketing surveillance (PMS) are doing this week at the production facilities and in the market respectively. The public will be duly updated with the outcomes of the investigation,” the NAFDAC DG told TheCable.
According to the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA), Nigeria is one of the largest consumers of instant noodles, with 1.92 million servings as of May 2020. The country ranks 11th globally in the demand for noodles, with Indomie instant noodles being the most consumed brand in Nigeria.
The presence of a cancer-causing chemical in a popular food brand is a significant concern for consumers and regulators alike. The investigation by NAFDAC is a step in the right direction to ensure the safety of consumers and prevent the smuggling of banned products into Nigeria. As a precautionary measure, consumers are advised to avoid Indomie noodles and other brands that may contain the compound ethylene oxide until the investigation is concluded.
- Businessmen excrete 193 cocaine pellets in NDLEA custody
- FG to officially unveil National Blockchain policy, graduate 30,000 trained youths
- She’s My Girlfriend, Doctor ‘who Raped’ Kwara Patient Breaks Silence
- JUST IN: Court remands Seun Kuti for four more days
- Kaduna Governor Holds Meeting with Security Chiefs to Address Insecurity