Stakeholders under the aegis of the Trans Fat-Free Nigeria Campaign have commended the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for its partnership and commitment which culminated into the endorsement of the #TransfatFreeNigeria campaign.
The stakeholders pushing for an end to the intake of killer transfat by Nigerians include Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED), Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to a statement made available to The New Diplomat by Prudence Eboagwu-Ijah, Programme Manager, Trans Fat Free Nigeria Campaign, the campaigners expressed their commendation at a meeting which had the Director-General of the agency, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye and top officials of the agency in attendance.
The meeting called at the instance of NHED deliberated on the status of the draft of the Fat and Oils Regulations 2019 and the Pre-Packaged, Ice and Labelling Regulations of 2019. Participants also explored opportunities for working with the agency and other critical stakeholders on how to seek viable alternatives to the use of Industrially produced Trans Fatty Acids (TFAs) in Nigeria’s food system.
It would be recalled in 2019, the regulatory agency had made a draft of the two regulations available on its website for comments from the public. The approval of the regulations has however been delayed due to the COVID19 pandemic which has taken centre stage in government engagements.
At the virtual meeting, Prof. Adeyeye highlighted the efforts the agency had put in place to ensure that the regulations are passed and effectively enforced. She commended the Trans Fat free Nigeria campaign stakeholders for their sustained efforts to see the regulations passed and encouraged them to continue the work with relevant departments of the agency to achieve the campaign objectives.
She told the stakeholders that the draft regulations will go through some processes before its approval by the board and assured that in no distant time the approval and final gazetting of these regulations will occur.
The New Diplomat had reported that the killer’ trans fat, alternatively referred to as ‘bad fat’ in food is in the meals consumed daily by a far majority of the Nigerian population estimated to be over 200 million people.
Described as a risk factor for Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD), a higher intake of trans fat increases CVD risk by 23 per cent and mortality by 34 per cent. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the toxic fat kills over half a million people every year.