Nigeria: Government Constitutes Committee on Safe Use of Benzoic Acid in Foods

Nigerian Market
Image Credit: Fatai Akinteye

Late week, the Head of Public Relations of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Bola Fashina stated that the Federal Government has set up a national technical committee to examine the recent court judgment on the rejection of some soft drinks exported from Nigeria to the United Kingdom.

The setting up of the committee comes a few weeks after a Lagos High Court declared that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) was negligent in failing to order NBC to include on its label a warning to consumers against consuming Sprite and Fanta with Vitamin C.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who inaugurated the committee alluded to the concerns raised by stakeholders on the issue and the government’s commitment to the safety and well-being of Nigerians.
The terms of reference of the Committee according to Professor Adewole include;
  •    To determine the safety of benzoic acid in foods.
  •    To determine if the use of benzoic acid can be replaced in foods.
  •    To ascertain if the levels of benzoic acid in carbonated drinks can be further reduced below 250mg/kg in Nigeria.
  •    To determine the frequency of monitoring of the safety levels of benzoic acid in foods.
  •    To give any other advice that the National Technical Committee may deem necessary.

The committee comprises of members from the Department of Chemistry, University of Lagos, the Food and Drugs Section of the Ministry of Health, SON, NAFDAC, Consumer Protection Council, Association of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employers and representative of Civil Society Organization.

“The committee will ascertain if the level of benzoic acid in carbonated drinks can be further reduced below 250mg/kg in Nigeria and determine the frequency of monitoring of the safety levels of benzoic acid in foods”,  Mr. Fashina said.

It is expected that the review from this committee shall be used as a reference tool for the benchmark for products’ quality in the country.

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About Nathaniel Adebayo 402 Articles
Nathaniel is a News Reporting Intern at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch (NLIPW). He has a passion for writing, capacity building and social media marketing. He is a graduate of Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he graduated with BTECHAGRIC. He is a member of Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) and the National Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ). Nathaniel has served as Editor-in-Chief for a number of magazines and as a contributor to various online repositories. Email: anathaniel@nlipw.com