As mentioned in my earlier post, unscrupulous Beans traders had been using dangerous chemicals to preserve bags of beans in storage. The beans is sold to unsuspecting consumers.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, expressed his displeasure recently at the use of chemicals for food preservation and fruit ripening, and urged traders not to use sniper to preserve beans.
“Suddenly, people are developing different diseases, something is wrong,’’ he said, in reaction to the reported use of 2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate, otherwise marketed and known as sniper, to preserve beans by retailers. The Minister appealed to foodstuff and fruit sellers and others Nigerians to adopt natural means of preservation.
The minister said that the ministry would collaborate with the National Orientation Agency to create more awareness on the need for citizens not to use chemicals for food preservation and fruit ripening. “We appeal that they use natural means such as pepper to prevent weevils in beans instead of sniper.
Some institutions and bodies are going to disseminate information to educate farmers and traders on food preservation. They include
- The National Orientation Agency
- All state Ministries of Agriculture
- The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
- The National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). NAN had earlier reported that NAFDAC had warned citizens against eating and buying foodstuffs and fruits preserved or ripened with chemicals. NAFDAC also advised that sale of grains or beans suspected to be preserved with chemicals be reported to the agency. The use of sniper to preserve beans went viral on social media. Worried by the development, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) advised consumers to extensively parboil beans before consumption. CPC’s Director-General, Mr Babatunde Irukera, gave the advice in a statement in Abuja, adding that consumers should make sufficient enquiries before buying beans. All consumers have been warned that the use of 2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate (DDVP compound), otherwise marketed and known as sniper to preserve beans, and more particularly to protect Beans against weevils, is dangerous. Sniper is potentially injurious when human beings are unduly exposed to it by inhalation, absorption, direct skin contact or ingestion.