Lagos State government yesterday warned that toxic hide popularly known as ‘ponmo’ is in circulation.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, disclosed this while reviewing report of preliminary investigation and enforcement carried out on the sale of the toxic ‘ponmo’. He said government had confiscated large amount of poisonous cow skin in Ojo and Iba local government and local council development areas of the state. Idris said three persons were arrested in connection with the sale of the poisonous food items.
The commissioner said those arrested had been charged to court while samples of the confiscated ‘ponmo’ had been sent to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Laboratory for suitability test analysis for human consumption.
Explaining what brought about the action, Idris said the attention of government was drawn to the activities of traders selling the poisonous cow skin at odd hours in different locations in Ojo and Iba local government areas.
He said: “Preliminary investigations and suspects tracing revealed that the traders were very active in the early hours between the hours 4a.m. and 6a.m., at various locations such as Volkswagen bus stop, Iyana Iba, Afolabi Ege Markets, all within Ojo Local Government Area and Iba Local Council Development Area of the state. “Furthermore, a company said to be located at Ijedodo area of Iba LCDA was indicted as source of supply of this toxic ponmo and has subsequently been put under surveillance.”
The commissioner, however, called on the public to be vigilant and report suspected activities and sales of unwholesome foods and food products to environmental health officers in their nearest local government or to the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Agriculture. He also advised the public against purchase and consumption of foods which sources are doubtful or perceived to be hazardous to human health and wellbeing.
Reiterating the commitment of government to the protection and promotion of good health for its citizens, Idris noted that government would always do everything possible to ensure that only wholesome and healthy foods were available for consumption.