Yesterday, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) announced the promulgation of revised Fats, Oil, and Food Containing Fats and Oil Regulation 2022 and Pre-Packaged Food Labeling Regulation 2022.
The action was taken as part of efforts to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the fatalities associated with them.
NCDs, also referred to as chronic diseases consist of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic pulmonary disease.
At a press conference in Lagos, Prof. Mojisola Christian Adeyeye, Director General of NAFDAC, pledged to completely implement the regulations to protect public health.
Adeyeye stated that the appearance of the revised regulations indicates that the 2005 versions have been repealed without jeopardizing what was purportedly accomplished in accordance with the old versions.
According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), noncommunicable diseases account for 74% of all fatalities worldwide. According to her, NCDs are estimated to account for approximately one-fourth of all fatalities in Nigeria, and the likelihood of dying between the ages of 30 and 70 from the most prevalent NCDs is 20%.
She stated that more than 36 million people die annually from noncommunicable diseases. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) account for 17.5 million deaths annually, making them the leading cause of mortality.
At the 2018 World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Health Organization urged on countries to eliminate industrially produced trans fats – Trans Fatty Acid (TFA).
She stated that the United Nations agency had issued a ‘Replace’ action plan containing policy recommendations and interventions for governments.
According to her, WHO has recommended implementing one of the following policies: prohibiting the use of partially hydrogenated oils – the source of industrially produced TFAs – in all foods, or limiting the amount of industrially produced TFAs to less than 2% of the total fat content of all foods.
Adeyeye stated that NAFDAC, with the cooperation, collaboration, and support of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Ministry of Justice, and the Trans-Fat Coalition Partners in Nigeria, has diligently worked to achieve the two-pronged pathways.
She mentioned the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED), and Corporate Accountability and Public Participation in Africa (CAPPA) as coalition partners.