Breaking News: Cancer found in Chicken, Turkey,

The days when chicken and poultry used to be an exclusive preserve of the rich or a delicacy for Sundays,
Christmas and very special festivities are long gone as its consumption has become a huge business and themainstay for several businessmen and women. Ruth Tene Natsa writes on the risks involved in eating these imported foods.

The warning by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) that the consumption of imported poultry and turkey products may lead to cancer, kidney diseases and hypertension should be a deterrent to all to avoid such products but not yet as Nigerians continue to consume the products.

According to the NAFDAC boss, Dr Paul Orhii, the risk in the products is as a result of substances that can predispose one to kidney, liver and lung diseases as well as certain types of cancers and drug resistant bacterial infections among others.

A major disadvantage to the consumption of imported poultry foods and products aside its health implication is the dearth of the nation’s poultry markets as farmers have to contend with low market demands for locally grown chickens which are cheaper, healthier and more accessible.

These challenges are further exacerbated by the nation’s inefficient power system which limits farmers’ abilities to effectively store frozen products, poor storage facilities, a low market demand structure as consumers show a preference for the imported products and a corrupt system where criminals in the guise of business men smuggle frozen products into the country at the risks of local poultry farmers.

Another report that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) spent N187 billion on the importation of wheat and fish, among other goods which can be conveniently produced in Nigeria leaves one wondering if Nigerians have a bias for success or development because while our farmers continue to lack markets for their products, demands for foreign goods and services continue to soar, enriching the importers.

The fact that Nigeria remains a viable market for the many foreign chocolate testify to that. Unfortunate results of the love for foreign made goods are the loss of jobs, loss of foreign exchange, importation of diseases, as warned by the NAFDAC, poor development of the nation’s manufacturing and agricultural industries, among several others.

LEADERSHIP Friday’s efforts to trace the reason for the high demand for imported chicken and turkey revealed Nigerians love for foreign products, demand for quality, a social status symbol, poor manpower development, porous borders, and the get rich syndrome which is only concerned about enriching the importers at the expense of the farmers. According to a housewife, Mrs Nwafor, the love for foreign poultry is the fact that it saves one time on dressing and packaging which the local farmers often do not have the patience to do.

“I love buying the imported chicken and turkey because it is usually clean and easy to pick up and cook rather than going to the market to wait for those mallams to kill and dress poultry for you. Also it makes it easier in that one can buy in smaller affordable quantities.

“I have never seen locally produced or dressed turkeys and they are usually more expensive if one has to buy the whole. But in the markets, one can buy just a wing or a thigh without fears of emptying one’s bank account. Also, I do not think that our farmers can sufficiently produce all the poultry this nation requires.”

Reacting to the health implications of eating the foreign products, she queries, “If they are dangerous, why do the government allow them to import them? These products come through our seaways, they get into our ports and borders and at the end are sold in open markets. If they are that dangerous, why are efforts not made to arrests those responsible; why are they not destroying or seizing those goods in the markets after they have successfully escaped the customs at the borders?”

Breaking News: Cancer found in Chicken, Turkey, Breaking News: Cancer found in Chicken, Turkey, Reviewed by Vita Ioanes on Friday, July 10, 2015 Rating: 5

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