By Raphael Jov, Abuja
The Executive Director of Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi has reemphasized the need for the governing council of National agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to speedily approve the guidelines and regulations on the use of fats and oils, as well as pre-packaged foods, water and ice labeling.
Mr. Oluwafemi who made the emphasis while addressing a press conference in abuja, in commemorating 2020 World Food Day also called for increased awareness on the dangers of consuming foods high in trans fats.
Akinbode Oluwafemi who was represented by the Director of programs, CAPPA, Mr. Philip Jakpor, said that fatalities attributable ago was 1,300 persons.
“But with the upsurge in consumption of fast foods, packaged foods, baked foods and all sorts of processed foods best described as junk foods. There is the likelihood that more people, especially the young upwardly mobile are at risk of a major trans fats-induced health catastrophe”. He noted.
According to him, ” the world over, critical attention is being paid to what people eat. Food is a necessity of life just like the air that we need for respiration. The public health of a nation largely depends on what it’s citizen consumes. he said.
CAPPA wants the Nigerian government to compel the oil and fats and the fast food industry to comply with global best practice in relation to trans fats in the processing of their products.
On his part, Project Advisor for Trans Fatty Acid, Dr. Jerome Mafeni while calling on the Nigerian Government and all stakeholders to fast track relevant regulations for the control and elimination of Trans Fat from the country’s food system, he explained that Trans Fats which are fats produced from the industrial process of hydrogenation, whereby molecular hydrogen (H2) is added to vegetable oil and is linked to increases in the risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes, Obesity, Cancers, Dementia and death.
According to him, with the world’s population estimated to approximate 10 billion by 2050 and well over 2 billion people already not having regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food today, Dr. Jerome however noted that new and effective strategies must be articulated and implemented to address this gap in food security, especially in Nigeria.
This year’s World Food Day which takes place every 16th day of October yearly is themed; “Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together Our actions, Our Future.