NAFDAC to investigate Indomie over alleged cancer-causing substance

NAFDAC to investigate Indomie over alleged cancer-causing substance

National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has disclosed that it will soon commence investigation on some randomly selected instant noodles after reports surfaced that Indomie’s “special chicken” flavour noodles has a substance known to cause cancer.

Director General, Mojisola, a professor, on Sunday, told Premium Times newspaper that beginning from Tuesday, 2 May, the agency will commence processes to test randomly selected products to confirm the claims before reaching out to Nigerian consumers.

The director general wrote: “NAFDAC is responding. We plan to randomly sample Indomie noodles (including the seasoning) from the production facilities while PMS samples from the markets. This we will carry out on Tuesday 2nd May (as Monday May 1st is a public holiday).

“The compound of interest is ethylene oxide, so the Director (Lab Services) Food has (is) being engaged, and he is working on the methodology for the analysis.”

The health department in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, earlier said it detected ethylene oxide in two types of instant noodles, including the Indomie chicken flavour, following random inspections by its officials.

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In a statement, the Taipei City Health Bureau noted that, “Thirty instant noodle products were sampled this time, including 25 imported and 5 domestic instant noodle products. The content of ethylene oxide was inspected, and the label compliance check was carried out. The result was 1 instant noodle from Malaysia and 1 from Indonesia. The detection of ethylene oxide in the product did not comply with the “Pesticide Residue Allowance Standard” announced by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Regarding the non-compliant instant noodle products, the industry within the jurisdiction has been ordered to immediately remove them from the shelves. ”

Ethylene oxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is used to sterilize medical devices and spices. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the gas can contribute to increased cancer risk.

While reacting to the latest development regarding one of its products, Taufik Wiraatmadja, a member of the board of directors at Indofoods, in a statement on Friday, defended the safety of the noodles noting that it is safe for consumption.

He noted that the noodles have received standard certifications and have been produced in line with international food safety regulations.

“All instant noodles produced by ICBP in Indonesia are processed in compliance with the food safety standards from the Codex Standard for Instant Noodles and standards set by the Indonesian National Agency for Drug and Food Control (“BPOM RI”). Our instant noodles have received Indonesian National Standard Certification (SNI), and are produced in certified production facilities based on international standards,” he wrote.

“ICBP has exported instant noodles to various countries around the world for more than 30 years. The Company continuously ensures that all of its products are in compliance with the applicable food safety regulations and guidelines in Indonesia as well as other countries where ICBP’s instant noodles are marketed.

“We would like to emphasise that in accordance with the statement released by BPOM RI, our Indomie instant noodles are safe for consumption.”

Instant noodles sold under the Indomie brand are made in Indonesia by Indofood. With 16 factories, Indofood is the world’s largest producer of instant noodles. Annual production of Indomie exceeds 15 billion packets. Indomie is also exported to more than 90 countries around the world.

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