A prosecution witness testifying in the case of the alleged killer teething mixture, which the National Agency for Food Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) filed against three Nigerians yesterday told the court that laboratory analysis revealed that “My Pikin” teething mixture contained a deadly contaminant.
The witness, Mr. Momodu Segiru-Momodu, who is the NAFDAC Director of Chemical and Evaluation Research, stated this while giving evidence at the resumed hearing of the suit filed against Barewa Pharmaceutical Company Limited and two of their employees for the production of the alleged killer teething syrup.
Giving his testimony during the examinationin- chief conducted by the prosecutor, Mr Aminu Alilu, Segiru-Momodu told the court that on January 2009, he received a sealed package, containing samples of my Pikin teething mixture with batch number 02008 at the Yaba office of NAFDAC The witness said the samples were analysed in consonance with the laid procedure on microbiological and physiochemical assays.
He added that upon analysis, the product was found to contain a contaminant called “diaethylene glycol” He stated that the samples were later taken to the NAFDAC central laboratory at Oshodi for confirmation by a qualitative and quantitative estimation of the products. Segiru-Momodu added that advanced analytical technique was employed using an instrument called “gas liquid chromatography”.
He said: “The result of the analysis at the Oshodi central laboratory proved to be the same with that conducted in the sister laboratory at Yaba. “As a result, we came to a conclusion that “My Pikin” baby teething mixture was contaminated with diaethylene glycol. “Diaethylene glycol belongs to a group of substance called glycol and there are four closely-related glycol with common characteristics.
“They include: diaethylene glycol, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol and glycerol. “The first two are sweet and deadly while the last two are sweet and harmless. “Some dubious elements engaged in drug counterfeiting now sell the harmful substance, “diaethylene glycol”, as glycerol and propylene glycol.”
After hearing the testimony, Justice Okechukwu Okeke adjourned the case till April 24, 2013. NAFDAC had charged the accused including a man now deceased, Muri Okunola, in March 2009 on a six-count charge.