Monday, October 21, 2013

NAFDAC and IITA step up campaign on aflatoxin contamination

L-R: Drs Dashiell, Bandyopadhyay, and Mrs Denloye during the sensitization
workshop in Ibadan
IITA and Nigeria’s food and drug regulator, the National Agency for Food  and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), are jointly raising awareness on the prevalence of aflatoxins in food and feeds.
   At sensitization workshops organized in Ibadan and Abuja, the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr Paul Orhii, said awareness became necessary in view of the dangers inherent in the consumption of contaminated food and feeds.
   Represented by  Mrs Stella Denloye, the agency’s Director of  Laboratory Services, Orhii  noted  that the consumption of contaminated foods   could cause liver cancer and even death.
   According to him, awareness creation is a preventive strategy to reduce the risks associated with aflatoxin contamination.
   Welcoming participants during the sensitization workshop in Ibadan, the Director General of IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga observed that aflatoxins have become one of the  major sources of food poisoning across Nigeria.
   He said the meeting in Ibadan was to sensitize the public on the dangers of aflatoxins and also introduce stakeholders to IITA biocontrol product—aflasafeTM  — that is helping farmers in tackling the problem.
   Represented by Dr Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director-General, Partnerships and Capacity Development, Dr Sanginga said that the use of aflasafe had proved effective in controlling aflatoxins in Africa.
   In attendance at the stakeholder meeting were policymakers, food and drug regulators, farmers’ associations, students, researchers and the private sector.
   AgResult Pilot Manager, Debo Akande described the meeting as a milestone in awareness creation efforts.
   Drs Ranajit Bandyopadhyay, team leader for the aflatoxin control work in IITA; and Joseph Atehnkeng, coordinator for aflatoxin control in West Africa were among the key stakeholders that made presentations during the meeting, highlighting the dangers of aflatoxins and the benefits of aflasafeTM .

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