The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has issued a warning against consuming fruits artificially ripened with calcium carbide. NAFDAC expressed concerns over the illegal hawking of drugs in open markets, emphasizing its commitment to eliminating substandard and falsified medicines. Artificial ripening of fruits using calcium carbide results in a loss of quality, including color, taste, and aroma. These fruits have a shorter shelf life, lower juiciness, and pose serious health hazards due to impurities in calcium carbide, which can lead to cancer, organ failure, and other complications.
NAFDAC has initiated a scientific study to address the health risks associated with the use of carbides in fruit ripening. The agency plans to intensify its awareness campaigns and seeks the support of the media in disseminating information to the public. Illegal hawking of drugs presents a significant challenge to the healthcare system, as such drugs are often counterfeit, substandard, or expired.
NAFDAC warned that drug hawkers not only endanger lives but also contribute to criminal networks, posing a threat to national security. Offenders will face prosecution and potential jail terms, as NAFDAC’s enforcement officers conduct nationwide operations with the cooperation of other law enforcement agencies.