The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has warned against the consumption of canned tomatoes, noting that they can cause cancer.
The administration through its Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat gave the warning while training women that were drawn across six area councils in Abuja on techniques to process and preserve tomatoes.
The Chief Planning Officer of the secretariat, Mrs. Oladoja Margaret said, the two-day event drew 50 leaders of women from each of the six Area Councils and trained them so that they would go back to train other women in their councils.
While speaking on the essence of the training, Oladoja said, “We realized that there are some seasons tomatoes will be so cheap and there are times that a basket will be going for N10,000 to N15,000 and at that time, majority of the women will not be able to afford it.
“So we thought of how we could help these women get this product when it is cheap, process and preserve it so that they can eat it throughout the year.
“Another thing is that we want people to desist from consumption of chemically processed foods because recently there have been many cases of people using chemicals to process and preserve food, so we are out to sensitize them on the dangers of chemicals in our food.”
She explained that though tin or sachet tomatoes was not cancerous in itself, it was the presence of three poisonous chemicals used in preserving such tomatoes that rendered them cancerous.
According to her, harmful chemicals found in tin and sachet tomatoes include colour, which is added to make them red and attractive to the public; backing powder with starch, which is meant to thicken it; Ajinomoto, which makes the products sweet and preservatives for keeping make them for many years.
Oladoja also said the training would help the FCT women, their families and small business owners consume healthy tomatoes, prevent post-harvest losses, empower them economically, provide good health and save resources, Voice of Nigeria reports.