Eating imported chicken suicidal – Iwu
Renowned Professor of Pharmacognosy, Prof. Mauice Iwu has described the consumption of imported chicken by Nigerians as “suicidal” because of the chemical used in preserving them which, he says, could be harmful to the body.
Speaking recently at a press briefing on the planned Herbal, Health Food and Natural Expo (HERBFEST) 2015 scheduled to hold in Abuja from October 6 to October 8, Prof. Iwu said it is dangerous for Nigerians to eat food not processed in the country “because there is no way they can bring it in even from closest neighbouring state without putting chemicals into it.”
Iwu who is the chairman, Bioreources Development and Conservation Programme (BDCP), and the HERBFEST Organising Committee Chairman, also advised Nigerians to rely more on local herbal products for their foods and health needs .
“We depend too much on consumption of foreign products, especially herbal foods in spite of the fact that government has well laid out policy encouraging herbal practice and production.
“As we speak, there are over 48 commercial plants from Nigeria and 30 of these plants are food plants.
“We are hoping that one day, herbal medicine practitioners will be able to look at the global trend and key into scientific traditional trend.”
According to him, with the abundance of research centres, institutions like Federal Institute for Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), 40 universities working day and night and good agricultural policies, Nigeria could diversify.
“What we need is a ribbon to tie all these institutions together, which is the major purpose of HERBFEST.”
Prof. Iwu further declared that herbal medicine could become a major source of revenue for Nigeria if given the necessary attention.
“Nigeria is so endowed that we should be able to compete with other countries in adding to our income stream things that come out from herbal products.
“Herbal medicine is an area where many countries are looking at, yet we have not looked into this area to any significant level.
“We know what happens in China, a lot of people in this country buy products from them and also India where people buy a lot of food supplements,’’ He said.