Fears over ‘Killer’ palm oil

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• Most of the oil in Lagos is rejected – Olatujoye
• Unfair Cabal Responsible-Oyekoya

Stakeholders in the Palm Oil industry are expressing serious concerns about the presence of falsified palm oil or "palm oil for killers" in markets across the country. The Guardian learned that some palm oil dealers took the dilution of the original palm oil with substances to maximize profits, at the expense of unsuspecting buyers.

As it was collected, when the dye is mixed with water and added to the original palm oil, it increases its redness, which gives the impression that it is better in quality than the other oil on the market. Further it turned out that the demand for the "killer" oil "grows unconsciously because of its rich color and attractiveness, since buyers prefer it to the original oil.

Development is explained by the increase in the cost of the original product, since several households can not afford to pay high costs. The 75cl bottle is now located between the N400 and N500, unlike the N250 and N300 in 2017. In addition, the 4-liter gallon is currently sold between N2, 500 and N3 000 against the previous price of N2,000. Counterfeit oil is reportedly cheaper.

According to reports, the shadow trade, which is widespread in Lagos, Yuba and on the plateau, spread to other states throughout the country, which caused serious concern about public health. For example, it turned out that falsified butter could be easily purchased in the popular market. Far, Ikotun, Yankara, Mushin, Eigunl, Myl-12 – all in Lagos, Ibadan, Potiskem and Jos. President of the National Association of Palm Manufacturers of Nigeria, Mr. Henry Olatuja confirmed to The Guardian that most of the oil eaten in Lagos has been falsified.

In 2017, the Nigerian Defense and Civil Defense Corps (NCDSC) arrested some suppliers of palm oil in Potiskum, Yube state and in the state of Jos, State of Plato, for allegedly falsifying the product with a dye. Their arrests led to the confiscation of samples, which, after laboratory tests conducted by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC), showed traces of high acidity, high saponification and high relative density.

The NAFDAC state coordinator, Lawal Musa Dadingelma, confirmed that the tested palm oil test contains a dye that is capable of causing cancer when deposited in the human body. The Guardian learned from food retailer Alirat Autumn, who works in Lagos, that two things attract buyers to the killer, its attractiveness and price. According to her, "only when you cook with it, you will find that it is different from real butter. Besides taste, this makes the soup red like blood. This makes food repel. "

She added that there are other types that cause an unpleasant smell during cooking, recognizing that falsified oil is everywhere nowadays and it can be difficult for non-suspect buyers to identify. The managing director / CEO of Bama Farms, Prince Wale Oyekoy, said that unscrupulous bondage imports poisonous oil, but the government has no political will to stop them. "For their selfish reasons, they become accomplices in a crime that kills our economy and turns us into beggars from Western countries. Falsified oil is not healthy, as it causes cancer and all kinds of dangerous conditions, such as a high level of bad cholesterol, which ends with heart disease. It's easy to be identified, as it becomes whitish at the bottom and badly differs from our pure palm oil, which can remain for several months.

When asked what the body did to put an end to the falsification business, Olatuja said he did everything in his power. "We conducted awareness campaigns for all the states of the federation, especially in the state of Lagos, because most of the oil they eat in Lagos is faked. But since people do not see the danger, they still buy it. We even approached NAFDAC, telling them about the consequences of falsified oil, but since the danger is not expressed, they do nothing. You know that in Nigeria there is no catastrophe that follows an event that the government does not react easily, it's a problem that we have. "

Linking development to high demand, he added that as the population grows, the country will continue to import palm oil. Oyekoya, who also supported Olatujoye's position, said that some states in the southwest, south and south-east produce a large number, but not enough to satisfy consumption in the country. "Some states export to neighboring countries to earn foreign currency. Production is not sufficient for local consumption, since the treatment is still done manually by the elderly.

"The government can only help by providing an enabling environment for improving infrastructure. With our exploding population, we need to go to mechanized agriculture, otherwise we will deceive ourselves by saying that everything is fine when it is not so. Continuing, he said: "More research institutions with better financing will increase our production. More farmland for farmers will increase our production, supported by modern tools and bulldozers, to clean the land. "

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