The Lagos State Government is currently waging war against what it describes as ‘toxic ponmo,’ which it says is being sold in the state.
A statement signed by NAFDAC Director-General, Mojisola Adeyeye, warning Nigerians against indiscriminate ponmo consumption states:
1. Most of these animal hides are meant for industrial use.
2. Some of the animal hides are sometimes pre-treated with industrial chemicals, which are not food-grade and are toxic and injurious to human health.
3. Some companies legally import hides from countries such as Lebanon and Turkey, while the majority of the product is smuggled into the country through porous borders.
4. The imported animal hides are meant for industrial use by leather industries for the manufacturing of items such as shoes, bags, belts, and others.
5. Health hazards inherent in the consumption of such animal hides include risk of liver, kidney, and heart damage, increased risk of Aplastic anemia, central nervous system toxicity, cancer, and more.
6. Livestock farmers are advised to note that industrial animal hides could not be used in the manufacture of animal feed.
7. Associated chemicals are generally stored in the tissues of animals that are fed with feed made with industrial animal hides and will eventually end up in humans when consumed, with the attendant effects.