CAPPA – Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa

Killer Trans Fatty Acids: CAPPA’s Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello, Pens Down Open letter to Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami

Dear Attorney General of the Federation,[spacer height=”25px”]

I intend to go straight to the reason behind my letter which centers on the lives of over 200 million Nigerians sitting uneasily in a file in front of your table as I write.[spacer height=”25px”]

I want to draw your attention to the fact that the number one killer disease in the world today is not COVID-19 but cardiovascular-induced illnesses like cardiac arrest, stroke, heart failure, etc., caused by the consumption of unhealthy foods and oils, particularly trans fatty acids (TFAs).[spacer height=”25px”]

In Nigeria, consumption of TFAs is the number one cause of heart failure and cardiac arrest. Statistics according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that more than 36 million people die annually from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), accounting for 63% of all global deaths. Among these, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of these deaths, accounting for 17.5 million deaths annually. In this category, high blood pressure leads all risk factors.[spacer height=”25px”]

Sir, it may interest you to know that for the past two years, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, (CAPPA), a Non-Governmental Organisation, in conjunction with partners, has been carrying out a massive campaign for a #TransFatFree Nigeria while working closely with the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).[spacer height=”25px”]

Their efforts have resulted in an update of two existing regulations, namely: the fats and oils, and pre-packaged ice and water labeling regulations. Although much progress has been made in putting together the regulations and getting the NAFDAC Council to approve them, delay in gazetting them has become costly as it allows manufacturers of foods high in trans fats, interested only in profits, to continue the business of marketing lethal foods.  Consumers, yourself included, are at the receiving end, as they consume oils that lead to their ill health and death in some cases.[spacer height=”25px”]

Sir, the regulations which were drafted have been passed to your table, awaiting approval. In order to safeguard Nigerian lives from untimely death, there is an urgent need to gazette the pre-packaged ice and water labeling regulation.[spacer height=”25px”]

This letter was penned to you from a place of genuine concern as a social worker and concerned Nigerian citizen.[spacer height=”25px”]

Thank you[spacer height=”25px”]

Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello is the media and communications officer at Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa.


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