“Ponmo” consumption is dangerous to health

Dr Isuwa Adamu, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of
Leather Science and Technology (NILEST), Zaria, on Tuesday
warned against the consumption of animal hides and skin
known locally as “ponmo”.
Adamu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that
the consumption of the product as meat substitute was
dangerous to health.
According to him, scientifically, ponmo does not have any
nutritional value to human health.
“In fact, it is not advisable for you to consume ponmo in the
sense that some of the animals killed and used for ponmo
actually have skin diseases.
“Some of these skin diseases are such that boiling them
ordinarily, may not kill the bacteria,’’ Adamu said.
He added that some of the animals killed had been ill and
undergoing injections but the rearers went ahead to kill
them, leaving the buyers vulnerable to chemicals in the
animal skin.
“Some of the animals because of the ailments that they have
gone through, are sometimes treated by way of injection
with chemicals.
“People don’t allow these chemicals to complete its cycle
and be removed from the body; they sometimes go ahead
to kill these animals.
“So, if you consume the ponmo, the tendency is that you are
consuming the chemicals directly because the skin part of
the animal retains most of the harmful substances.
“Remember your skin is the major protective organ of your
body and your skin harbours so many of the harmful things
that are supposed to penetrate into your body,’’ he
explained.
He added that the skin of animals harbour so many of the
harmful waste materials that the body secretes and boiling
only could not remove some of those wastes.
The NILEST boss said the institute was putting up efforts to
sensitise the public and advise governments on policies that
will help to reduce the consumption of animal skin to the
barest minimum.
According to him, ponmo consumption is a national and
traditional issue that just putting up laws may not really help
to stop it.
Adamu advised the government to come up with policies
that could be enforced to reduce the consumption of hides
and skin as meat substitute.
He added that this would enhance the quality and quantity
of raw hides and skin that are available to meet the
demands of the tanneries.

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