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Reps summon Health Minister, NAFDAC on plastic packaging of beverages

The House of Representatives on Wednesday summoned the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, to appear before it to explain likely effects of using plastic…

The House of Representatives on Wednesday summoned the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, to appear before it to explain likely effects of using plastic containers to package foods and beverages.

Also, Yetunde Oni, the acting Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), was summoned to appear before the house.

The decision was sequel to a motion by Rep. Sergius Ogun (Edo-PDP) entitled: “Need to Regulate the Use of Bisphenol “A”(BPA) Plastics in the Production of Bottled Water”.

Moving the motion, Ogun expressed concern over the effects of drinking water in plastic containers that had been left under the sun or near a heat source, which had been linked to degenerative diseases.

He explained that plastics were hydrocarbons obtained from crude oil which, when heated, became unstable and slowly released chemicals that entered the water.

According to him, most plastics contain a chemical known as Bisphenol “A” (BPA), also known as “environmental estrogen” which causes reproductive defect and neurological abnormalities and prostrate issues.

“During the hot and humid weather, the demand for water is on the increase and as such, production of bottled water is on the rise.

“The production of bottled water in most parts is unregulated.

“As a result, the use of BPA plastics, which are by far cheaper than the non-BPA, is generally used by companies producing bottled water,” he said.

Other lawmakers that contributed to the debate called for sensitisation of the public on the health hazard of using plastic bottles to package drinks and foods.

In his contributions, Rep. Oghene Egoh (Lagos-PDP) said, “we need to educate the public on this.“

Also, Rep. Rotimi Agunsoye (Lagos-APC), warned against the dangerous effects of Bisphenol “A“ to the body.

“It is important that we inform NAFDAC and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to educate and sensitise the public on health hazard of using plastics to package drinks and foods,’’ Agunsoye said.

The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

It was referred to the House Committee on Healthcare Services for further legislative action.

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