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Consumer protection agency declares Erisco tomato paste fit for consumption

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The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency has declared that the product of Erisco Foods Nigeria Limited, Nagiko tomato, is safe for consumption and does not pose any health hazard to the consuming public.

The statement, which was signed by the General Manager, LASCOPA, Afolabi Solebo, was posted on the Lagos State Government’s website on Monday.

Nagiko tomato was subjected to laboratory tests upon a complaint from a Facebook user, Chioma Egoji, who had published a ‘negative’ review of the product on September 17, PUNCH Online reports.

Egoji claimed that the tomato paste had too much sugar content after she had tasted it.

“I went to buy tin tomatoes yesterday that I will use to make stew. I didn’t see Gino and Sonia.

“So, I decided to buy this one. When I opened it, I decided to taste it. Omo! Sugar was just too much. Ha, biko, let me know if you have used this tin tomato before because this is an Ike gwuru situation,” the Facebook user claimed.

However, to authenticate Egoji’s claim, Solebo stated that LASCOPA had embarked on an independent investigation by inviting Erisco Foods, the producer of the product and Egodi to two different meetings held on October and 10 2023.

The LASCOPA GM narrated, “The outcome of the meetings informed the decision of LASCOPA to request for samples of the product which were subsequently taken to the laboratory for test and analysis as well as to ascertain the conformity of the sets of parameters  of the product samples to establish if the product is safe for consumption or otherwise.

“It must be noted that two samples of the product were taken from Erisco Foods Company and another two sets of samples were obtained from a market survey by LASCOPA to balance and ensure a true reflection of the state of the product from both the company and the market.

“The laboratory analysis of the two sets of samples collected for Microbial and Physicochemical tests showed that the product passed all the tested parameters and it is safe for consumption based on the outcome of the test conducted.”

Afterwards, the news of Egodi’s arrest surfaced on social media, thus, Erisco Food released a statement, tagging the claims “untrue.”

The statement also claimed that Egodi’s post was “obviously intended to mislead our esteemed customers and discredit the image of Erisco Foods Limited, as previously instigated by some elements and syndicates who are uncomfortable with our increasing market dominance as a leading indigenous manufacturer of tomato pastes.”

In an exclusive interview with PUNCH Online, the spokesperson for Erisco Food, Nnamdi Nwokolo, confirmed that the company wrote a petition to the police to investigate the claims.

He said, “The allegations were grave, so we petitioned the police to investigate the matter. So if the police find criminal defamation against Chioma Egodi and then arrest her, is it a crime that we sought the law?”

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