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Abuja Looks Into Noodles

Nigeria’s food and drug regulator says it is investigating the popular Indomie brand of instant noodles following recalls in Malaysia and Taiwan where health authorities say they detected a potentially cancer-causing substance. Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said in a statement Tuesday it was “taking swift actions” to analyze samples of the product, as well as its seasoning, and will also scrutinize “other brands of instant noodles offered for sale to Nigerians.” Health officials in Malaysia and Taiwan last week recalled the noodles saying they had detected a compound called ethylene oxide in the “special chicken” flavor of the noodles. Ethylene oxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is used to sterilize medical devices and spices. The United States Environmental Protection Agency found in a report that the gas could contribute to increased cancer risk. Nigeria is one of the largest instant noodle markets in the world and Indomie is the “market leader in the noodles industry in Nigeria,” according to the Indofoods, which owns the brand.