BREAKING: NAFDAC Warns Against Use Of Sniper For Food Preservation, Says It Can Cause Cancer, Death

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has once again warned Nigerians against the use of dichlorvos (sniper) and other dangerous chemicals to safeguard food from spoilage. The agency said that the use of sniper and other dangerous chemicals for food preservation can cause cancer and even death.....Read The Full Story Here ▶

According to NAFDAC, the sale of small volume dichlorvos (100 ml or less) has been banned since 2019 while the sale of the large volume (one litre) is limited to certified agrochemicals outlets.

The warning is in response to a viral video showing individuals using dangerous chemicals to preserve food items like beans, stockfish, and crayfish.

The misuse of dichlorvos, NAFDAC said, poses significant risks to human health, manifesting in both short-term and long-term consequences. The agency explained that the long-term exposure can result in severe health implications, including developmental abnormalities in offspring, memory loss, reduced fertility, and potential carcinogenic effects. These adverse effects, it said, highlight the importance of adhering to safety guidelines to mitigate the risks associated with dichlorvos exposure.

In a statement on Sunday by the agency’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, the Director General, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, urged traders and merchants to desist from using unauthorized chemicals on food meant for human consumption.

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

While acknowledging the challenges faced by farmers due to bans on various chemicals, she stressed the importance of transitioning to safer alternatives.

The Director of Veterinary Medicine and Applied Products (VMAP), Dr. Rametu Momodu, reiterated that using certain chemicals, especially pesticides, to protect grains and prevent beans from having weevils is not an approved practice. She explained that there are approved pesticides for use as fumigants, which should be used according to the manufacturer’s specifications on the product label. She stressed that these products should not be applied directly to food due to their inherent dangers to human health.

Momodu stated that consuming food contaminated with dichlorvos can cause dizziness, vomiting, difficulty breathing, tremors, and convulsions, and in some cases, can lead to coma and death. She warned that once used, pesticide residues remain on or in the food, posing significant health risks.

She advised consumers to avoid buying from vendors known to use such practices and to report them to the nearest NAFDAC office for appropriate sanctions.

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