House of Representatives yesterday mandated its Committees on Health Services and Drug and Narcotics to investigate the reported importation of fake, substandard and cancer-causing tomato paste into the country.
The decision of the House followed a matter of urgent public importance moved by Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (Delta-PDP).
Leading the debate, Ossai explained that there was an increase in importation of fake and substandard food into Nigeria, particularly tomato paste.
He expressed concern that the ugly development of importation of cancer- infested tomato paste was killing a lot of Nigerians.
The lawmaker said it was reported that the mafia group importing the tomato paste was collaborating with a few indigenous manufacturers in Nigeria, adding that they were being used as a cover-up.
Ossai further hinted that the fake and substandard cancer-causing tomato paste had flooded the Nigerian markets with low prices.
According to him, “This has compelled the closing down of many and genuine indigenous tomato paste processing companies in Nigeria which has resulted to retrenchment of over 50 per cent of their staff.
“Section 5 subsections (a) to (e) and (I) of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Act has given NAFDAC the onerous task of ensuring that fake and substandard food items are not found within the Nigerian markets.
“This is in conformity with Order xviii Rules 160 (2) (n) of the Standing Orders of the House of the Representatives.”
The committees were given three weeks to report back to the House.

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