The Ogun state government has raised alarm over the discovery of poisonous cattle skin popularly called ‘ponmo’ in large quantity, Vanguard reports.
Warning residents in the state against eating ‘ponmo’, the government made it known that some wicked people are taking the advantage of the high demand of the popular soup ingredient.
These businessmen distribute in bulk, ‘Ponmo’ laden with tanning chemicals. According to the state commissioner for Agriculture, Ronke Sokefun, the toxic ‘ponmo’ are supposed to be used in the production of leather materials in foreign countries like Sudan, Italy and Japan. The tanned skins are sold to unsuspecting public even at a less cheaper rate.
Sokefu further implored the general public to be on the lookout for the ‘imported ponmo’ which is often brownish black, foul smelling, abnormally thick with layers and ridiculously cheap compared to the certified ponmo.
“Tanning chemicals like biocides and fungicides are added along the processing chain to preserve the hides against protein degradation, bacteria and mould growth that would have damaged the hides and skin,” she said.
Some time last year, some Nigerians had gone ballistic following reports that the federal government may soon ban the sale and widespread consumption of ponmo, a popular delicacy to many.
The minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, said at the 3rd joint anniversary of the Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN) and the Nigeria Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) had said ponmo, as it popularly called, ought to be tanned into leather for a very high dollar return to the farmer and tanneries instead of its consumption.