The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned Nigerians of the dangers inherent in the use of Sniper and all other brands of Dichlorvos (DDVP) for the preservation of foodstuffs.
The agency issued this warning via a statement by the Resident Media Consultant to NAFDAC, Mr. Sayo Akintola.
According to the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the continuous application of the pesticide could lead to severe health complications. She added that the practice was common among grain merchants, beans aggregators and dried fish sellers.
Stating the harmful effects of the trend, the DG said it could lead to weakness, headache, tightness in the chest, blurred vision, salivation, sweating, nausea, abdominal cramps, eye and skin irritation.
She also listed pain, runny nose, lack of appetite, dizziness, convulsions, low blood pressure, and possibly death as aftereffects of the use of the chemical for food preservation.
Adeyeye further explained that Dichlorvos (DDVP) was certified for insect control in food storage areas, greenhouses, and barns, and for parasite control in livestock.
The DG, however, bemoaned that some traders have continued to ignore the several warnings of the agency and misuse the agrochemical to preserve foodstuffs, thereby endangering the lives of unsuspecting consumers.
She divulged that NAFDAC had put in place several measures to combat the menace. One of such was the immediate ban on the importation and manufacture of Sniper and all other Dichlorvos usually found in 100ml pack size.
In addition to the importation ban, Adeyeye revealed that the agency also placed a ban on hawking and sale of crop protection products in the open market and supermarkets nationwide.
“NAFDAC in collaboration with relevant stakeholders organised two sensitisation workshops for agro-input dealers on the safe and responsible use of crop protection products in Kano and Oyo states prior to the outbreak of COVID-19,” she said.
Adeyeye disclosed that the sensitisation would soon be extended to other states, warning unscrupulous traders that the agency would ensure full enforcement of the measures
“The agency wishes to inform the general public that our offices nationwide as part of their post-marketing surveillance activities are to ensure enforcement of these regulatory measures and take appropriate sanction against defaulters,” the DG stated.
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