Imported rice not fit for consumption -Prof. Iwu

A health expert and professor of pharmacognosy, Professor Maurice Iwu has warned Nigerians to desist from the consumption of imported rice, saying they contain heavy metals and toxins that are harmful to the body.

Professor Iwu gave the advice at the ceremony of the international conference on alternative sweeteners tagged: “Harnessing of the economic potentials of Thaumatin (Thaumatococcus danielli) in Africa,” held at Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) last weekend in Lagos.

Iwu who is also a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) disclosed that most of the countries that Nigeria imports rice from are known to have heavily contaminated soils that have been over planted over the years with a lot of chemical fertilizers.

Such soil, he stated, contain heavy metals and toxins that are not healthy to the human kidney and general wellbeing, which are transferred into the rice grains that the country imports.

“This is not anything about promoting Nigeria’s commodity, but I am talking from the scientific side of view that it is in our interest to eat made-in-Nigeria food, not just only rice, but particularly rice because of its nature. The rice grain absorbs minerals from the soil, including these harmful metals and chemicals.

“Secondly, the imported rice is polished and preserved with additional chemicals before they get here. That is why most of the imported rice look very clean and white, which is also a very bad sign,” Iwu disclosed.

Meanwhile, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) announced it has developed simple process technologies for commercial extraction and optimisation of high grade Thaumatin and Miraculin, a low calorie sweetener and flavour modifier.

Director General, FIIRO, Prof. Gloria Elemo, stated that this breakthrough was apt considering the fact that global worth of high intensity sweetener both natural and synthetic market was on the rise estimated at close to $1.3 billion in 2008 and is expected to quadruple by 2021.

Elemo who disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the International conference on alternative sweeteners, said that attention is now shifting to sourcing of alternative sweeteners mainly non-nutritive phyto chemicals from plants in order to close the gap between the production and consumption of sweeteners, sweetening and flavour enhancers.

According to her, there is increasing large segment of the population with special dietary requirements containing non-nutritive sugar, such as the diabetic patients, pointing out that over the past few decades, non-nutritive sweeteners have been gaining significance and are expected to develop into a major source of high potency sweetener for the growing natural food and pharmaceutical markets.

She added that in Nigeria, there is a huge gap between sugar production and consumption, saying this represents a serious problem since an estimated amount and quantity of 2.5 million tonnes will be imported to meet local demand.

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  1. Imported rice should not be allowed inside the country

  2. Government should do more in the production of our local rice

  3. It’s good to see Iwu say something refreshing.

  4. +whether or not this is a way to promote Nigerian product, yea we should promote made in Nigeria

  5. Do we then have enough equipment and implement to produce our own rice. What’s the forward.

  6. I hope we can produce what can go round the country without high price and scarcity

  7. God almighty will save us in this country

  8. They should band all imported crops as well it is hundred percent true and confirmed that those country are applied fertilizer to their soil because the soil is not good

  9. If this is true, majority of us would have been sick or died. We connot do without the imported rice at least, for now.

  10. Foreign Rice Is Cleaner Than Our Local Rice.

  11. Just tell Nigerians to stay away from importation of rice. Which one is imported rice not fit for consumption

  12. What are we to eat now Na one death go kill man pikin

  13. I already know this from last year

  14. That is a fact we are consuming waste product

  15. It is only God that can help us out in this country

  16. Somehow all imported goods are not ussually good unless serious checks, you will be shocked to see how Nigerians imports anything just to make money.

  17. GOD bless me so i could build a large farm and reduce this importation of almost everything in Nigeria.

  18. And what provisions have been put in place for home base rice?

  19. Are they sure it isn’t politics they are trying to bring into this imported rice issue

  20. There are so many things that we are that is not good so may God help us

  21. If only nigerians would listen especially the rich ones. The best option is to ban the importation of rice from other countries

  22. The federal government should provide rice mill for our indigenous rice

  23. My only question for mr. Iwu is, when last did you purchase or consume local rice? This people will only preach what they cannot do.

  24. Is it this our local rice that you will see big stones everywhere which can kill when swallowed. My dear even Aso rock eat imported rice and nothing happens to them. Stop the propaganda.

  25. your health is your greatest wealth stop eaten toxic…

  26. This is serious o wetin man go shop now

  27. so the imported rice is polished and preserved with additional chemicals

  28. Why are they wasting this..not why some people are die for hunger

  29. Are you sure this is not a strategy to stop importation of rice

  30. The foreign rice is available more than our local rice

  31. Am really tired of this nation, I think we should have been allowed to choose the country we are to be born in

  32. Thanks for the information, so what the way forward now

  33. Glad to hear from Prof Iwu of the Iwuru fame on the need to consume local rice and avoid some of the toxic called foreign rice.

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