NAFDAC Lists Adulterated Wines, Drinks, Shows Steps To Verify Original Products

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has unveiled a list of adulterated wines and drinks in circulation, even as it has enlightened Nigerians on steps to verify the original products.

This include the manufacturing of all kinds of adulterated products especially different kinds of wine from a wide variety of brands ranging from Seaman Schnapps, Henessy, Four Cousins, Carlo Rossi, Jenney, Chelsea London Dry Gin, Schnapp Dry Gin, McDowells, Black Labels, Gordons, Martell, Campari, Smirnoff Ice, Eva Non-Alcoholic Drink, Evra Non-Alcoholic Drink, Cartel, and others.

There is also date revalidation for expired products like Peak milk, Powdered milk, Ketchups, Yoghurt, Coca Cola products, packaging of fake and substandard products, which are later sold to unsuspecting members of the public for consumption.

Recall that the Agency recently intercepted counterfeiters involved in the production of a variety of beverages, including wines, soft drinks and consumables in Eziukwu Market (Cemetery Market) in Aba, Abia State.

Following an intelligence tip-off, the director-general of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, in a press statement, disclosed that the Agency carried out several weeks of intelligence gathering and collation of data on the activities of these merchants of death.

“In collaboration with other security agencies, NAFDAC carried out a sting operation in the market to burst the criminal operations taking place there. It is worthy of note that this dastard activity has been going on for a long time and they operate like a cartel threatening anyone who dares challenge them,” Adeyeye explained.

Because of the extensive operation, the agency raided over 240 shops-turned factories where the harmful products were being produced and marketed.

The DG added that the shops-turned factories were very filthy, using water from very unhygienic sources, harmful chemicals, saccharin, colouring, dirty recycled bottles, and cloned packaging materials of other brands.

The adulteration of alcoholic beverages by criminal elements in the country is done by mixing of cheaper sources of sugar and starch besides grapes or fruit, among other harmful chemicals unsuitable for human consumption.

“Over 1,500 cartons of the fake and substandard products were destroyed during the operation while 300 cartons were evacuated to NAFDAC warehouse. The street value of the confiscated and destroyed fake products is estimated at over N750,000,000. Ten people were arrested on arrival at the scene of the crime and will be charged to court after thorough investigation,” she said.

Due to the sheer magnitude of illegality going on in the section of the market, Adeyeye averred that NAFDAC had to shut the entire market down for thorough regulatory activity until an agreement was reached with all stakeholders in the market and undertaking signed that the market will never be used for such nefarious activities anymore.

She warned that drinking adulterated alcohol can cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness, and dizziness, blue tinged or pale skin, irregular or slow breathing, low body temperature, unconsciousness or passing out, kidney and liver failure or even death.

“Methanol, a substance which can be used in fake vodka, may cause permanent blindness. World Health Organisation (WHO) in their Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health estimated that more than three million people died all over the world as a result of alcohol poisoning.

“Furthermore, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) ascertained that one of every 10 cancer cases in Nigeria can be traced to Alcohol and 4.7 percent of overall cancer cases in Nigeria in 2019 can be attributed to consumption of adulterated alcohol,” she disclosed.

How to identify adulterated products:

While urging Nigerians to remain vigilant, the DG has tasked consumers to always scrutinize branded drinks to distinguish them from counterfeits before consuming them.

“NAFDAC wishes to advice that the members of the public should shine their eyes during this yuletide season. We are using this medium to appeal to Nigerians to buy only NAFDAC registered drinks from reputable and licenced retailers, bars and supermarkets.

“If the product is being sold well below its normal price, or doesn’t seem to include normal taxes on liquors, then it is probably fake. Check for poor quality packaging, spelling mistakes and unusually shaped bottles. Look for the contact information and address of the manufacturer. If it is missing, the alcohol is fake.

“Inspect the seal on the bottle. If the seal is broken or damaged, then the contents might have been interfered with and are not safe to drink. Check for fake bar codes. If you have an app on your mobile that scans bar codes, scan it and see if it’s listed as the correct product and beware of bad smells! If it smells like paint stripper or nail polish remover, then it probably is!”

She assured that NAFDAC will continue to ensure that the level of counterfeit products nationwide is brought to the nearest minimum so that Nigerians will continue to consume only healthy and safe products.

We wish to reiterate that in line with our mandate to rid the county of fake and substandard products, we shall be on the trail of these evil counterfeiters, and bring them to book. The public is enjoined to report any suspicious activity of illegal producers of adulterated products or similar activities to the nearest NAFDAC office nationwide,” Adeyeye appealed.