A team of health inspectors tagged the Food Safety Taskforce led by the Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Betta Edu busted an illegal juice manufactory gang noted for also producing fake medicine.
Promoting Safety, Dr. Edu, who was appalled by the environment where the drinks are produced, decried the level of wickedness and extent people go to make money.
According to her, the exercise was in line with “the determination of Governor Ben Ayade’s administration to end quackery in health sector and promote food safety. As a ministry, our focus is in the wellbeing of our people starting from what they consume as food and medicines.”She said.
“The team actually shut down an operation today, where the man produces Zobo juice in his backyard and in unhygienic conditions. We got reliable information that the man has been in this illegal business for years and we decided to take him by surprise and what we discovered is terrible.
“It is so unfortunate that people could be this wicked and mean to their own fellow man. You can imagine the environment where the said Zobo juice is being prepared for public consumption. The so-called fermented ginger, which he claims adds spice to the Zobo drink is always left open with flies perching on it.
“These types of illegalities results in disease outbreaks such as typhoid, dysentery, cholera. As a government, we will not allow this to happen as such whoever is caught will be made to face the full weight of the law just like this man here today,” she stated.
She ordered that the illegal factory be shut down, equipment confiscated and the suspect handed over to the police for prosecution.
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. David Ushie urged Nigerians to speak up against illegalities that could cause severe disease outbreak. Ushie appealed to the people to support the efforts of the government in saving lives by reporting anyone or group of persons found illegally producing fake products to the relevant authorities.
“We are appealing to our people not to condone any illegalities by reporting operators of fake and contaminated food factories to the Ministry of Health and even the Police so legal actions can be taken on such a person,” he urged.