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Unveiling the Health Hazards of Ponmo Consumption

Ponmo health hazard

Ponmo, a popular delicacy in Nigeria, has been the subject of repeated warnings from relevant agencies and health experts due to its health hazards. Despite these warnings, many Nigerians continue to consume it, raising concerns about their health and safety. The article highlights the dangers associated with ponmo consumption, the unscrupulous processing methods used, and the urgent need for better awareness and safer preparation techniques.

The Grave Health Hazards of Ponmo Consumption:

Due to bad processing methods, such as using tires, plastics, and other harmful substances to burn the hide, ponmo becomes unsafe for human consumption. The usage of industrial chemicals on some animal hides meant for industrial use also poses severe health hazards to consumers. These hazards include liver, kidney, and heart damage, increased risk of Aplastic anemia, central nervous system toxicity, cancer, and more.

Alarming Practices in the Ponmo Trade Chain

The are irresponsible practices within the ponmo trade chain, such as the illegal diversion of animal hides meant for industrial use into the food chain. Such unethical practices compromise the safety and quality of the product, exposing consumers to serious health risks. Additionally, the circulation of ‘toxic ponmo’ treated with industrial chemicals poses further dangers to public health.

Expert Opinions on Health Implications

Prominent health experts express their concerns about the dangers of consuming ponmo processed with tires and rubber. The hazardous fumes and chemicals produced during this process can lead to cancer and gastrointestinal tract issues. Expert advice highlights the importance of using proper cooking methods and clean fuel sources to minimize chemical contamination and health risks.

Anthrax Outbreak and Food Inflation Impact

The recent outbreak of Anthrax disease, a zoonotic disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans. The potential risks of consuming animal products, including ponmo, are further highlighted in this context. Additionally, the current food inflation across Nigeria has led to an increased demand for cheaper protein sources like ponmo, despite the health warnings.

Safe Preparation Methods

To address the risks associated with ponmo consumption, health experts suggest safe preparation methods. Boiling cow skins in water is recommended as an effective way to eliminate harmful substances and make the ponmo healthier for consumption. The use of clean fuel sources, such as cooking gas, electricity, or clean-burning fuels like charcoal or clean wood, is also encouraged.

Raising Awareness: There is a need for increased awareness among consumers about the dangers of consuming unsafe ponmo. Raising public awareness through educational campaigns, media outreach, and community engagement is essential to protect public health and reduce the demand for unsafe products.

NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, recently said investigations revealed that unscrupulous businessmen and traders were now diverting animal hides meant for industrial use into the food chain for consumption.

She disclosed that some of the animal hides are sometimes pre-treated with industrial chemicals, which are not of food grade and are toxic and injurious to human health.

She revealed that some companies legally import hides from countries such as Lebanon and Turkey, while majority of the products are smuggled into the country through the porous borders.

“The imported animal hides are meant for industrial use by leather industries for the manufacturing of items such as shoes, bags, belts and others. Health hazards inherent in the consumption of such animal hides include risk of liver, kidney and heart damage, increased risk of Aplastic anaemia, central nervous system toxicity, cancer and more.

“Livestock farmers are advised to note that industrial animal hides could not be used in the manufacture of animal feed. 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,” she added

The persistent issue of ponmo consumption despite repeated health warnings. is a cause for concern. Nigerians should prioritize their health and safety by avoiding unsafe ponmo and adopting safer preparation methods. Additionally, the role of relevant agencies and health experts in increasing public awareness and enforcing food safety regulations must be carried out. By working together, Nigerians can make informed choices and protect their well-being while enjoying their favorite delicacies.

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