EFFECT OF NATIONAL AGENCY FOR FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL (NAFDAC) ON FOOD INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA
Concern about the wholesomeness and safety of our foods has increased dramatically, particularly in those countries where food shortage is not a problem. Increasing understanding of, and interest in technological matters on the part of the consumer and organized consumer groups, coupled with a recognition that neither government nor industry can guarantee the safety of food, have lent support to this concern. Our food present dilemma is that technology has opened our eyes of possible dangers of which were once blissfully ignorant. It has done so on two fronts. First, it has enabled us to measure in trace quantities, substances that previously went undetected, and we have begun to recognize that many of these substances form the natural background of our food supply. But perhaps more important, it has increase our awareness of the universe of possible affliction and their apparent causes. No longer do we focus our fear on acute, lethal effects. We now worry about the insidious chronic effects which rub us our health and diminish the quality of our lives.
Various forms of adulteration exists in food trade. For example, textured vegetable protein may be substituted for meat, or bean flour may be adulterated with other cheaper flour. In certain instances more costly vegetable oils have been diluted with cheaper ones or with non – edible oils resulting in cases of food poisoning with lethal consequences. Such practices must be curbed and any control measures on food should prohibit and penalize any such acts. Hence, the need for a food regulatory body.
Regulatory aspect of food is, in the main, an attempt to protect the health and pocket of the consumer, and to simplify trade at both the domestic and international levels. The policy designed for a food, invariably is derived from the various quality control measures which are exercised in the production, sale or importation of food. In other to achieve this, food laws must be enacted that will make provision for the legislating on the presence of poisonous materials in food, prohibit adulteration in any form and disallow the advertisement of misleading claims. It must also permit compositional, hygienic and labeling requirements to be stipulated, and the presence and amount of additives to be controlled. Provision must also be made to check dumping and for relevant regulation to he made. The penalties for infringement must be spelt out and these should be sufficiently stringent so as to be an effective deterrent.