By Ebunoluwa Sessou
A non-governmental organisation, League Against Pesticide Consumption, LAPC, has condemned the use of pesticides for the preservation of raw foodstuff and other edibles by traders and stockists, emphasising that the practice is harmful and injurious to the health of citizens.
This condemnation followed the warning by Mrs Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, to members of the public against the use of Dichlorvos (DDVP) in the preservation of raw food items.
Bent on campaigning against the consumption of pesticides in Nigeria, the group in its statement signed by Ms Olatunde Odebiyi, public relations adviser, disclosed that, “Pesticides are chemical compounds that are used to kill pests, including insects, rodents, fungi and unwanted plants.
“LAPC recognises the important role of food preservation in the value chain as the method of treating and handling to slow down spoilage and prevent foodborne diseases but recommends the use of appropriate and standard preservatives with no harmful side effects. Such will maintain the nutritional value, texture and flavour as against Dichlorvos”, she said.
According to the group, it has also observed the alarming frequency with which some distressed members of the public resort to the consumption of pesticides. It, therefore, advised that pesticides are not for ingestion by human beings saying “they are harmful to the body, could lead to several health problems and also death if a consumer is not given immediate medical attention”.
The group buttressed its point by revealing that the global figure has it that 20 per cent of global suicide is through ingestion of poisonous substances, while 78.6 per cent of Nigerians who die by suicide is through the ingestion of poisonous substances such as pesticides, electrolytes which are known as battery water and bleach.
Ms Olatunde Odebiyi’s statement concluded that foodstuff traders and stockists in Nigeria should not throw caution to the wind in the food preservation process while consumers must be more observant, sensitive and health-conscious in their consumption patterns and habits.