NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) has called on the government of Anambra state to suspend production and sale of unregistered rice called “Anambra rice”.
Mrs Christiana Essenwa, a Deputy Director of NAFDAC, made the call on Monday during a visit to the state Ministry of Agriculture in Awka.
Mrs Essenwa stated that the call became necessary following a petition forwarded to NAFDAC by Stine Industries, Nnewi, over the alleged counterfeiting and illegal use of the trade mark by the state government.
According to her, Stine Industries came to NAFDAC with a Certificate of Incorporation and the trademark in 2016 for NAFDAC registration number but the state government surfaced with the same trademark in 2017.
“There is no way the Ministry of Commerce and Industry can give one trade mark to two individuals or companies.”
“We went on a raid and discovered that in truth, there were products branded ‘Anambra Rice’ but with no NAFDAC registration number,” she said.
The Deputy Director warned that there were a lot of dangers in consuming unregistered food items, including rice.
She stressed that rice has the tendency of harbouring aflatoxin and heavy metals called arsenic, which can cause cancer and kidney diseases.