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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Sugary infant milk not registered, sold in Nigeria –NAFDAC

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on Sunday declared that the Nido infant milk formula, alleged to contain sugar or honey, was not registered and sold in Nigeria.

The Director-General (D-G) of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made this known in a statement obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Adeyeye said the attention of NAFDAC’s Management was drawn to an online publication alleging that one of the worlds largest consumer goods company added sugar and honey to infant milk and cereal products sold in many poorer countries, contrary to international guidelines aimed at preventing obesity and chronic diseases

It stated that the online publication of April 17, 2024 was being circulated widely to the general public.

Adeyeye said the report further stated that samples of baby food products sold in Asia, Africa and Latin America were tested and results revealed that sugar and honey were added in form of sucrose in samples of Nido and Cerelac.

“The Management of NAFDAC wishes to use this medium to reassure the public that the Agency exercises due regulatory diligence in the registration of infant and young children foods distributed and used in Nigeria.

“This is in line with relevant Codex Alimentarius international food standards (Codex) and more specifically, Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS).

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“This is applicable to all categories of infant and young children foods distributed by manufacturers, importers, and marketers of infant and young children foods operating within Nigeria.

“Regarding the mention of Nido follow-up milk formula in the publication, NAFDAC wishes to state that the product is not registered in Nigeria, is not known to the Agency and is not in circulation in Nigeria,” she stated.

According to Adeyeye, the range of Nestle Cerelac infant cereals distributed in Nigeria are duly registered with NAFDAC in line with the Nigerian Industrial Standard for Foods for Infants and Young Children.

“Processed Cereal Based foods (NIS 256:2010) and the Codex Standard for Processed Cereal-based Foods for Infants and Young Children (CXS 74-1981 was adopted in 1981, revised in 2006, amended in 2017, 2019, and 2023), as well as the applicable NAFDAC regulations for compliance with safety, quality, and labelling requirements.

“Adequate, optimal nutrition during infancy and early childhood is essential to ensure the growth, health, and development of children to their full potential.

“The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) implements the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, developing international food standards, guidelines, and codes of practice with the mandate to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair international food trade.

“Nigeria (NAFDAC) is an active participant at these international food standards setting arena to contribute Nigerians positions during food standards development,” it said.

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According to the statement, the Agency, on March 22 held a stakeholders engagement with members of the Association of Infant Food Manufacturers and Marketers in Nigeria (AIFMN), anchored by the Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FSAN) Directorate, to further drive home the importance and special place of infant and young child nutrition.

Adeyeye reassured the public that the Agency was fully alive to her responsibilities of assuring the safety, wholesomeness and quality of infant and young children foods offered for sale in Nigeria in compliance with the relevant standards and regulations. (NAN)

Kemi Akintokun
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