NAFDAC debunks allegation of lacking testing lab for food fortification

 By Aderogba George
 The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has debunked a news publication in an online media alleging non-establishment of testing laboratory for food fortification.
A statement by NAFDAC Resident Media Consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola, in Abuja on Monday stated that the attention of the agency was drawn to the Sept. 30 publication by “Flowerbud NEWS” in respect of the subject matter.
Akintola stated that the publication claimed that this assertion was made by The Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) in collaboration with the Civil Society Legislative Advisory Centre (CSLAC) and eHealth.
The resident media consultant however debunked the position of the organisations about NAFDAC, saying it has laboratories for analyses of micronutrients in foods.
“I wish to state unequivocally that NAFDAC has laboratories for analyses of micronutrients in food and had been conducting annual survey on food fortification in Nigeria for the past years.
“Particularly, the Central Food Laboratory has international accredited micronutrient laboratory units with the state-of-the-art equipment.
“The laboratory has the Vitamins units for testing of vitamins in food which include Vitamin premix and fortified food vehicles.
“Vitamins tested include fat soluble- Vitamin A; water soluble – thiamine, riboflavin, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, cyanocobalamin, folate.
“This unit is equipped with latest versions of Agilent and Chromaster brands of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).
“The Laboratory has the Metal unit equipped with latest models of Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS), Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES), Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS),” he said.
He stated that the metal unit analyses all the nutritional and heavy toxic metals in foods including the fortification vehicles.
He said that the units have well-trained staff that are technically equipped to handle the equipment in the analysis of micronutrients using internationally accepted protocols.
According to him, the test scopes of the units are accredited by American National Accreditation Board (ANAB) since 2018 and this has been sustained and renewed annually.
He said that this fact can be verified from the ANAB website.
Akintola said that the laboratory along other NAFDAC laboratories in other parts of the country handles over 10,000 samples of fortified foods in the 2023 Food Fortification Survey.
He disclosed that the result of the samples are presented to the National Fortification Alliance (NFA), adding that  NFA consists of representatives of the industries – Flourmills, sugar processing and vegetable oil industries.
Others, according to him are government and regulatory agencies and donor partners.
Akintola said that NAFDAC does not and had never contracted the analysis of its micronutrients or any parameter of its regulated products to private laboratory since the assumption of office of  Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye as its Director- General. (NAN)