INFANT formulas sold in Nigeria are useful alternatives to breast milk in many circumstances but may pose health risks to infants and children due to contamination by potentially toxic metals, a study has said.
In the study published in the 2020 Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, scientists tested different brands of both locally manufactured and imported infant formulas and found their content of arsenic was higher than the provisional tolerable level, suggesting a cause for public health concern.
Arsenic can cause cancer in many organs, including the skin, lungs, bladder, kidney and liver; it is also capable of influencing the neurological, respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
The study also compared the estimated daily intake of aluminium, arsenic and mercury with the provisional tolerable daily intake acceptable by the Joint Food and Agricultural Organisation/World Health Organisation Expert Committee on Food Additives in 26 infant formulas purchased in March, 2017 from stores in Port Harcourt.
This sample represented approximately 75 per cent of infant formulas available on the Nigerian market. It consists of infant formulas and follow-on formula samples which were soy-based, milk and rice-based, rice, wheat and mixed cereal gruel (all sold as powder), vegetable meals, and fruit-based desserts.
Aluminium and mercury levels were within permissible limits, but arsenic concentrations in the infant formulas exceeded established safe limits.
The concentrations of aluminium and mercury were highest in milk-based infant formulas compared to other types, whereas arsenic was lowest in milk-based infant formulas compared to other analysed types.
The levels of arsenic were higher in cereal-based formulas compared to milk-based formulas, but the difference was not significant.
The intake levels of aluminium, arsenic and mercury in infant formulas were found to be 8.02–14.2 per cent, 437.1–771 per cent and 23.7–41.8 per cent of the provisional tolerable daily intake of the JECFA threshold values, respectively.
According to them, food regulatory agencies in developing nations should maintain regular and periodic checks of foods to ensure permissible limits of contaminants.
They declared that further studies with larger sample sizes including metal speciation analyses will shed more light on the public health impact of infant formula consumption in Nigeria.
Currently, there is no guideline for arsenic content in baby food, including infant formulas, but the food industry has been advised to adhere to a 0.2 mg/kg arsenic level to ensure the safety of infants and young children.
Infant formulas derived from rice have been shown to contain arsenic, which potentially has health risks for infants due to long-term exposure starting at a young age.
YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
Pantami Used Armed Officers To Evict Our Staff, Abike Dabiri Alleges
The chairman, Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has alleged that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami used armed security men to eject NIDCOM from the offices which they occupied in the NCC building located at Mbora District… Read full story
Naira Set To Rally As CBN, ABCON Finalise BDCs’ Resumption Of Forex Sale
The naira is facing its greatest risk from the COVID-19 pandemic as currency speculators continue to make spurious demand for dollar with the hope of making good returns from the rising gaps between… Read full story
MONDAY LINE: Buhari’s Fifth May 29
MUHAMMADU Buhari’s first coming was from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985. It was a period of famine and pestilence; of queues for coins and corn and of lean liberty. His second coming will be five years old on Friday. Can he sit back and use his tongue to count his teeth? What has changed between his past… Read full story
China Tells US To Stop Wasting Time In Coronavirus Battle
The US should stop wasting time in its fight against the coronavirus and work with China to combat it, rather than spreading lies and attacking the country, the Chinese Government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, said on Sunday. The Sino-US ties have nosedived since the outbreak of the new coronavirus… Read full story
The Continued Harassment Of Essential Workers
NOT a few Nigerians were miffed by the reports of arbitrary arrests and continued harassment of essential workers by the police immediately after the recent extension by the Federal Government of the partial lockdown and curfew imposed across the country to curtail the spread of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Initially,many thought that the police operatives were at it again, acting outside their briefs for pecuniary gain… Read full story
Subsidy Removal: Those Who Can’t Fix Refineries Should Give Way ― NLC
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned that the Federal Government should not talk about; or contemplate fuel price increase; even as it stated that subsidy is a cover-up for inefficiency and corrupt in the system. The NLC gave this position, as the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association… Read full story
The Looming Fiscal Crisis And The Wisdom Of Awolowo
In terms of financial wizardry and sheer genius in economic statecraft, the only master I bow to is the legendary sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. I believe he was an extraordinary statesman and an economic genius to boot. Former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon once observed: “If you know of a man greater… Read full story
COVID-19: Curfew Now 8pm To 5am In Oyo
The Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, on Sunday, relaxed the existing curfew imposed on the state in respect of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic to between 8 pm and 5 am. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, confirmed that the decision was reached at the… Read full story
Adeboye Speaks On How Coronavirus Will End, Urges Nigerians Not To Panic
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye on Sunday said only a big miracle would make the deadly coronavirus pandemic leave the world completely. Pastor Adeboye stated this on Sunday during a live broadcast to his members on Dove… Read full story
Southeast Governors Meet In Enugu, Explain Delay In Implementation Of Zonal Security Outfit
GOVERNORS of the Southeast geo-political zone on Sunday explained why they are foot-dragging on the commencement of their zonal security outfit, saying that the Inspector-General of Police is not keeping with the agreement they reached with him… Read full story
No Rift Between Makinde And I ― Oyo Deputy Governor
Contrary to speculation of a cold war between him and his boss, Oyo State Deputy Governor, Raufu Olaniyan, has said there is no rift whatsoever. Olaniyan described the relationship between him and Governor Seyi Makinde as “robust and cordial… Read full story
Buhari Tasks Farmers On Massive Food Production, Says ‘No Money For Food Importation’
President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged Nigerian farmers on the need to embark on massive productive agricultural activities this farming season as Nigeria has no money for food importation. The president gave the challenge shortly after observing this year’s Eid prayer alongside members of… Read full story