Do you consume red oil? Do you buy your oil from the popular Daleko Market in Mushin local government of Lagos State?

Then this news is a must read for you.

There is the possibility that what you have been taking as red oil may after all not be pure but adulterated palm oil or 'killer palm oil' as some people have come to term it.

Bounce News investigation has revealed that in an attempt to maximise profit, some traders in the palm oil business in the Daleko market now adulterate the commodity with a chemical substance. 

A resident of the area had informed our correspondent of the shady activities of the traders.

The resident, who lives very close to market told our correspondent that he had seen the traders on different occasions mix the original palm oil with chemical substances.

Further investigation by Bounce News revealed that the palm oil traders are actually diluting the original palm oil with a powdery substance known as colourant.

It was further learnt the colourant when mixed with water and added to original palm oil increases the reddishness of the oil.

This creates the impression that it is better in quality than any of the oil in the market.

When Bounce News visited the market on Thursday, one of the retail dealers in market, who gave his name as Mike, would not divulge any information.

He denied knowing about adulterated palm oil and would not tell where he sources his supply from.

He said he does not mix his oil and that he sells it as it is delivered from the producers.

When asked what the perpetrators use to mix the oil, he said he did not know.

When this reporter told him about his finding that the dealers mix the oil with colourant, he said he was not aware.

As for him, he said he sells original, unadulterated palm oil, but disclosed that even the buyers make things difficult, as they always ask for the adulterated ones, albeit unknowingly, because of its rich colour and attractiveness.

 “And you know that in business, demand drives supply. So the sellers try to meet up with demand,” he said.

Attempts at getting information from wholesalers also met with denials and rebuffs.

Nowhere is safe

Many women who spoke with our correspondent on the matter said over 75% of palm oil in the market is being adulterated.

They attributed this to the rising cost of the product. Many of them say they cannot afford to pay the high cost.

A bottle of 75cl now hovers around N500 as against N300 earlier last year. Also, a bottle of 1.5l now goes for as high as N1, 000.

Recall that sometime last year, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NCDSC) arrested some palm oil suppliers in Potiskum, Yobe State and in Jos, Plateau State for allegedly adulterating the product with dye.

Their arrests at the time led to the confiscation of several other samples, which after lab tests by NAFDAC, showed traces of high acid, high saponification and high relative density.

Dangers of consuming adulterated palm oil

According to Dr Ganiy Ayinla of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, using adulterated oil in daily cooking could have adverse impact on health.

He noted that regular consumption of contaminated cooking oil can cause heart diseases and cancer of the stomach.

He said, “Globally, high cholesterol in various sources of oil has been a major risk factor for heart diseases among people of all ages. You must ensure that you are not at risk for such diseases through your diet.

He advised that people should be very vigilant when buying food items because the recession has turned so many people to producers of many fake products.

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