By OLUWABUKOLA AKANNI
IBADAN- National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned organic cosmetics and herbal medicine manufacturers against advertising their products without its approval.
Director of NAFDAC in the South-West Zone, Mrs Roseline Ajayi, handed down the warning while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Ibadan.
Ajayi said that majority of the indiscriminately advertised herbal concoctions and cosmetics did not go through the agency’s approval process.
According to her, many of the products have failed to comply with the agency’s advertisement rules and regulations.
Ajayi stated that many of the products had flooded the market and remained unapproved.
“One of my first assignments in the zone was to have stakeholders’ engagement with different sectors, including people in the food, drugs, cosmetics and herbal sector.
“We have sounded the warning again and again that indiscriminate advertisement is not allowed, and even when your products are registered and you want to advertise them, you need an advertisement permit from NAFDAC.
“We need to sound this warning before we go out against them; we are not out to kill businesses; we are here to assist people to do their businesses, but correctly; that is why we engaged stakeholders.
“Unfortunately, many of these people were not in attendance at that meeting. So those we could reach were those who were registered with us, and we told them how to get the processes done correctly,” she said.
Ajayi also advised Nigerians to be wary of products and herbal concoctions claiming to be “cure-all” medicine.
“I agree with you that there are indiscriminate advertisements, especially of herbal drugs claiming to be universal remedy for all ailments. In fact, we call them the “ABC etc” drugs.
“Those who have registered with us are aware of the regulation and the timeline for them to obtain advertisement permit.
“This permit is only issued after the products have been subjected to laboratory checks and every claim they are making are authenticated by NAFDAC.
“We also engage in routine inspection and surveillance activities to ensure that what they are advitising out there is in conformity with what is approved for them,” she said.
Ajayi also said that the agency had commenced a nationwide campaign on product registration to educate business owners and manufacturers.
According to her, product registration with NAFDAC helps to add value to products, without compromising quality and safety, while safeguarding the health of the public.
“We are aware that some may be making claims indiscriminately. When we apprehend them or get to them, we will advise them accordingly and if they don’t change, we will impose appropriate sanctions.
“But the way to go is to give awareness because many of them are doing it for lack of awareness.
“Recently, the agency also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) where corps members would be engaged to help take sensitisation to communities, especially at the grassroots,” Ajayi said. (NAN)