The National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT), has expressed worry that many children in Nigeria would come down with various forms of cancer in the nearest future, if a carcinogenic compound, ethylyne oxide, was found in noodles being consumed n Nigeria.
Director General/CEO NICRAT, Prof. Usman Aliyu in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, noted that Institute’s review of Ethylyne Oxide shows that the compound has grave consequences to human health, especially, when consumed.
Aliyu urged Nigerians not to take the alleged presence of ethylyne oxide in Indomie Instant Noodles ‘Special Chicken Flavour’ likely, but ensure they they desist from further consumption of the noodles immediately.
According to him, an in-dept review indicates that Ethylyne Oxide was a highly reactive chemical used as a raw material to make other compounds such as glycol ethers and polyglycol ethers, as well as a range of emulsifiers, detergents, and solvents.
He said: “Ethylene oxide is also widely used as a fumigant for cleaning culinary goods, including spices. It is also frequently used to disinfect medical equipment, particularly those that might be harmed by heat sterilization.
“Our review, therefore, revealed that there is sufficient evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of ethylene oxide, and there is strong evidence that the carcinogenicity of ethylene oxide, a direct-acting alkylating agent, operates by a genotoxic mechanism.
“NICRAT, created by an Act in 2017 as an agency with the mandate to prevent, conduct research and treat cancers in Nigeria, is deeply worried that, if found that some brands of Indomie noodles contain ethylyne oxide, then, Nigerians should expect an escalation of various forms of cancers in the months or years ahead, depending on how long people have consumed that brand.
“More worrisome, is that Nigerians should also expect an increase in cancer cases among children because Indomie noddles is a popular food among most Nigerian children.
“NICRAT’s concern is premised on the fact that, cancer has claimed a lot of lives in Nigeria. In 2020 alone, 78,000 Nigerians died as a result of cancer related complications (34,200 males and 44,699 fameless).
“NICRAT, therefore, advice Nigerians to obey NAFDAC’s instructions on the ban and consumption of Indomie Instant Noodles ‘Special Chicken Flavour’. We will further collaborate with NAFDAC in ensuring the safety and protection of Nigerians from cancer causing agents.”
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