Nigerians, Foreign Products Insanity And Fake Food Hullabaloo – By Paul Omoruyi


I am calling on the Nigerian Government to declare a day of National DETOXIFICATION from all the poisonous products Nigerians have been eating and drinking for so many years now. Then start a National Sensitization campaign to educate Nigerians about the benefit of eating locally produced verifiable natural food as opposed to eating unknown foreign food.

We all know that majority of Nigerians suffer from disguised inferiority complex that drive them to seek foreign products in order to feel good about themselves; or at least make them feel that they are better off than other Nigerians who consume local products.

Three years ago, I was driving through a busy intersection in Nigeria when I noticed an unusually large crowd as individuals push their way through the throng. Out of curiosity, I went over to see what the craziness was all about. I couldn’t believe what I saw – sale of so called “imported wines”. Noticing the pitiful look on my face, one buyer passionately told me “this just land from Italy now now my brother”.

I left that place knowing that people will drink those so called “imported wines” without knowing what it is made from or from where it came.

It could have been “imported” by a local dubious fellow (who has created and affixed a “Made in Italy” label on a sugar and dye drink!) right across the street or from China, Ghana or just about anywhere anyone with access to empty bottles exists.

Nigerians will eat, drink, wear and buy at any price anything that has a “foreign” name to it. Sometimes, I cannot make any sense out of it all.

I remember a friend in Lagos enthusiastically telling me we should go eat Domino Pizza or Burger fast food as “big boys”. I looked at him in awe and outright disbelieve. “You think I will come to Nigeria to eat all those garbage?” I asked. No oo bros, na big boys levels for Naija oo, he said. Ok oo, na una know wetin una see for naija with all these foreign fast food, me na bitter leaf soup I want eat.

These days, young Nigerians die from different kinds of diseases and illnesses unheard-of decades ago. Who knows how many Nigerians have died from diseases engendered by eating/drinking fake food/drinks?

The unfortunate side of all of this is that Nigerians naturally default to blaming any death on witches and wizards; evil relatives or in-laws.

Only God knows the number of Nigerians living today with poisonous toxins in their systems from the fake-no-nutritive-value food that they have consumed (unfortunately still consuming) over the years.

Little Nigerian kids are not left out from being fed with these poisonous nutrition-less foods. Whenever I am in Nigeria, it amazes me to see how my little nieces and nephews crave for Instant Noodle, popularly called “Indomie”.

I cannot tell if the fake food videos being shared on social media is true or false, but I do know that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been critical for years now about contaminated/fake products from China. What gladdens my heart is that Nigerians are beginning to know that there is something called “fake food/drink” that could be imported or locally produced.

In the past, the United States FDA have banned several products from Asia to protect Americans from consuming toxic foods.

On June the 28th, 2007, CNN reported “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced it is blocking the import from China of five species of seafood until their importers can prove they are not contaminated.

“FDA is initiating an import alert against several species of imported Chinese farmed seafood because of numerous cases of contamination with drugs and unsafe food additives,” said Dr. David Acheson, the agency’s assistant commissioner for food protection, in a conference call with reporters.

The species cited are catfish, eel, shrimp, basa and dace, he said. Basa is similar to catfish; dace is similar to carp.

The medications cited include the antimicrobials nitrofuran, malachite green, gentian violet and fluoroquinolones.

Nitrofuran, malachite green, and gentian violet have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals.

Use of fluoroquinolones in food-producing animals can result in antibiotic resistance.

None of them is approved for use in farmed seafood in the United States and some of them have been shown to cause cancer when fed to laboratory animals for “prolonged periods of time,” Acheson said.

The food will not be allowed into the United States until the importer can prove it is free from harmful contaminants, Acheson said.

He said the agency decided to broaden its previous alerts for products from individual companies to a countrywide alert after tests showed that 15 percent of those species of seafood produced by 18 companies in China contained traces of one or more of the contaminants.

“FDA is taking this action to protect the public health of the American people,” he said.”

The Nigerian government has a big role to play here. NAFDAC and Customs have to ensure that mass produced local foods/drinks and all imported foreign food/drink products go through rigorous testing/quality control before allowing them on the market.

For those who do not trust the Government’s ability to certify food on the market, a quick googling of “how to spot fake food” will provide you a wealth of knowledge of what to look out for to protect yourself.

Nigerians as a people will need to change their disposition towards local and foreign food/drink products in order to avoid all the unknown deadly toxins they might be consuming daily.

God bless Nigerians and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Paul Omoruyi



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