Producers of local gin, known as Ogogoro, under the aegis of Okwagbe Distillers Union, Delta State, have appealed to the Federal Government not to ban the production of the alcoholic drink.
Following the death of more than 60 persons in Rivers State last week over the consumption of the local gin and scores of others in Ondo State about two months ago, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, stated its resolve to commence the confiscation of Ogogoro and conduct sensitization across the country on dangers of its consumption.
Reacting to the NAFDAC’s resolution, Chairman of the union, Mr. Samuel Egedegbe, said that their distilled gin does not kill, stressing “It is the Ogogoro produced from methanol that kills”.
He reiterated that their “distilled gin” is produced from palm wine derived from raffia palm or liquefied sugar mixed with yeast and “well-cooked before distilling the gin”.
He added: “In the case of methanol, they do not have factories and they do not cook before distilling their gin. Rather, they only mix the methanol with water in their houses and automatically they have produced gin inside their bedrooms. On our part, we the members of the distillers union produce our gin through a scientific distillation process”.
On his part, Secretary of the union, Prince Anthony, said that the union was duly registered with the Delta State Government since June 18, 2010 with registration number 0938, arguing that “If we are transacting illegal business, we would not have registered it with the government”.