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NAFDAC Warns Against Deadly Food Preservative Practice

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has issued a stern warning to Nigerians to stop using dangerous chemicals to preserve food items, citing the hazardous practice as a significant risk to human health.

The agency’s Director General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, emphasized that the use of dichlorvos, a toxic substance, can have fatal consequences and urged traders and merchants to desist from using unauthorized chemicals on food meant for human consumption.

Adeyeye highlighted alternative methods for preserving food, mentioning the use of bio-pesticides as a safer option compared to dichlorvos. She also noted that food remaining unspoiled for an extended period might indicate pesticide contamination rather than freshness, unless stored in the refrigerator.

NAFDAC has implemented several initiatives to ensure food safety, including stakeholders’ sensitization meetings, laboratory testing, and routine monitoring of stakeholders. The agency is committed to global best practices, including the phase-out of certain pesticides that have been banned in other countries due to proven toxicity.

The Director of Veterinary Medicine and Applied Products (VMAP), Dr. Rametu Momodu, emphasized that using certain chemicals, especially pesticides, to protect grains and prevent beans from having weevils is not an approved practice. She stressed that consuming food contaminated with dichlorvos can cause severe health problems, including death.

NAFDAC urges grain merchants, market vendors, and farmers to adhere strictly to manufacturer guidelines and refrain from directly applying dichlorvos to beans and other foodstuffs. Consumers are advised to avoid buying from vendors known to use such practices and to report them to the nearest NAFDAC office for appropriate sanctions.