TOYIN ADEBAYO, ABUJA
The Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Christiana Adeyeye, said the agency is worried over the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in sachets and small volume glass and Poly-Ethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles.
She made this known in a statement she personally signed and made available to Newsfocus media in Abuja, while adding that, uncontrolled access and availability of high concentration alcohol in sachet and small volume PET or glass bottles has been put forward as a factor contributing to substance and alcohol abuse in Nigeria with its negative impact on the society.
The statement reads in bits “These concerns relate to negative effects of irresponsible alcohol consumption on public health and on the safety and security of the public, alcohol being a toxic and psychoactive substance with dependence producing properties.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that alcohol consumption contributes to 3 million deaths each year globally as well as to the disabilities and poor health of millions of people.
“NAFDAC with full support of the Federal Ministry of Health has continued to exercise its regulatory responsibilities by ensuring that all alcoholic beverages and other regulated products approved by the Agency meet set standards of quality, safety and wholesomeness” , the stated stated.
The statement continued ; “The Federal Ministry of Health is concerned about the high incidence of substance and alcohol abuse in the country and NAFDAC, being the competent authority, and working with relevant stakeholders, is increasing efforts to stem this. With regard to alcohol, major stakeholders have been engaged at the highest level and are already sensitized on the issue.
” Several interventions jointly agreed upon by major stakeholders are being undertaken and as a first step, no new products in sachet and small volume PET or glass bottles above 30%ABV will be registered by NAFDAC.
“Furthermore, to reduce availability and curb abuse, effective January 31st 2020, producers of alcohol in sachets and small volume PET and glass bottles are to reduce production by 50% of capacity prior to January 2020. The overall goal is a complete phase out of high concentration alcohol in sachet and small PET and glass bottles in line with the agreed roadmap or earlier. NAFDAC is in the process of monitoring and enforcing all agreements jointly reached between the Federal Ministry of Health-NAFDAC, alcohol producers and other stakeholders.
“General public is hereby advised to exercise caution in the consumption of alcoholic beverages and avoid unregistered alcoholic products which could have deleterious effects on health. NAFDAC is committed to preventing easy access to alcohol by young people and other vulnerable and high-risk groups”.