Panic as poisoned food flood Nigerian markets


  • FG expresses concern

The federal government has expressed concerns over sales of poisoned foods in Nigerian markets. The government’s perturbation emanated from rising cases of certain ailments that were a priori unusual or had minimal frequency in the country.

The recent revelation of the poisoning of beans through the use of sniper, a chemical known for killing mosquitoes and other pests in homes, for preservation of beans, brought awakening of the government to the looming health hazards in Nigeria that food poisoning could cause.

Apparently, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, in Otukpo, Benue State, cautioned that “Sniper is very dangerous,” adding: “people also use carbide to ripen bananas and some other fruits; people do all kinds of things.”

A report revealed the use of 2.2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate, known as sniper, by traders to preserve beans stored in their shops for sales.

National Daily gathered that Minister warned traders to eschew from using chemicals for food preservation and fruit ripening; insisting that the practice is detrimental to human health and the environment.

Audu Ogbe decried: “Suddenly, people are developing different diseases, something is wrong.” He warned foodstuff and fruit sellers in the country to adopt natural means of preservation, reiterating that the use of chemicals for food preservation could be poisonous and harmful to human health.

“We appeal that they use natural means such as pepper to prevent weevils in beans instead of sniper. We hear this and we send people to warn them but the ministry cannot catch everybody.

“We are going to use the National Orientation Agency and state ministries of agriculture to create awareness on the need for people to desist from these acts. “We just have to keep educating people,” Ogbe declared.

Since the exposure of the use of sniper to pr3eserve beans by traders, many households have become conscious of buying beans in the market, while certain food and drugs agencies have engaged on sensitization on the importance of proper cooking of raw food to required boiling or re-boiling point before consumption. Caution has become the word of the agencies before consumption.