Committed to its mandate to improve life through Standardization and Quality assurance, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) played host to the Technical Committee (TC) on Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) and Food Grade Colour to review the Nigerian Industrials Standard (NIS) at its Laboratory Complex Ogba, Lagos State.
The Director General Mallam Farouk Salim, in his welcome address, said this move is a joint effort between SON and Stakeholders to provide a Standard that will guide humanitarian Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Importers as well as local manufacturers on production, certification as well as safety requirements for Ready To Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) and Food Grade Colour used for printing on food products in line with international best practices.
The Director General, represented by Mr. Yunusa Mohammed, Deputy Director and Head of Food Group, noted that due to the prevalence of poverty and insecurity, which has made it inaccessible to a nutritious diet, most especially for micro and macronutrients, it has become imperative to review the Standards in these areas to ensure therapeutic foods are prepared according to the specific formulas for proper management of malnourished children and related consumers at large.
The SON boss applauded the caliber of stakeholders who make up the committee and commended the representatives of the relevant bodies present for their continued dedication to this National assignment and their prompt response whenever they are called into the decision-making process for standards development.
According to him, “they play a key role in the elaboration of standards, hence without their support in experience and technical expertise in drafting relevant market-driven standards, it would have been impossible to avail Nigeria and Nigerians the much-needed Industrial standard for manufacturing, trade, and investment.”
The SON helmsman also thanked the management of Nutri K Ltd for their initiative to collaborate with SON to elaborate these Standards whilst calling on other stakeholders to emulate them to support SON in all standardization activities.
Mallam Salim wished the Members a successful deliberation and prayed that a consensus is reached on the various opinions that would be raised so that upon completion, the standard will be approved for implementation to sanitize the sector and give Made-In-Nigeria products the leading edge in quality and consumer satisfaction.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Technical Committee; Prof O T. Adepoju, in his welcome address, expressed gratitude to be appointed as chairman of the Committee, stating that the standard being deliberated on will help to improve the availability of RUTF as well as go a long way to reduce the level of malnutrition for children within the ages of 6 – 59 months in the country.
Adepoju urged committee members to put in their best contribution in reviewing the Standards, which will suffice as a working document for industries and partners in Nigeria, bearing in mind the end goal, which is to encourage the use of locally manufactured goods, improve the lots of the Nigerian child and also reduce the level of malnutrition in Nigeria.
The meeting had in attendance Stakeholders from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Private Sector Health Alliance Of Nigeria (PSHAN), Federal Competition And Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Nutri K LTD, Dana Holdings Ltd, Micronutrients Laboratory Ltd, DABS, Federal Institute Of Industrial Research as well as academia from the University of Ibadan to mention but amongst others.
Find below pictures from the meeting.