November 1, 2020

NAFDAC warns against use of insecticide as food preservative

Indomie noodles

Director-General, NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye

Director-General, NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye

By Chioma Obinna

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, on Sunday, warned Nigerians against the use of insecticide and other brands of “Dichlorvos” (DDVP) as food preservatives.

The Director-General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, who gave the warning, said the continuous misuse and misapplication of insecticide and other brands of Dichlorvos by the general public, especially grain merchants, beans aggregators and dried fish sellers, could lead to health implications and even death.

Adeyeye said the misuse of the dangerous Agrochemicals in the preservation of foodstuffs is replete with health implications with symptoms such as weakness, headache, and tightness in the chest, blurred vision, salivation.

Others are sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, eye and skin irritation, eye pain, runny nose, lack of appetite, dizziness, convulsions, low blood pressure and possibly death.

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She said this necessitated the Agency putting in place some regulatory measures which include the immediate ban on the importation and manufacture of insecticide and all other Dichlorvos in 100ml pack size only, which was found to be the product readily available in unauthorised places.

She disclosed that the Agency has put in place measures against misuse and misapplication of these hazardous agrochemicals, which include a ban on hawking and prohibited sale of Crop Protection Products in the open market and supermarkets nationwide.

Adeyeye said the Agency had also embarked on massive sensitisation workshops in collaboration with relevant stakeholders on the safe and responsible use of Crop Protection Products on agricultural commodity storage, conducted for farmers, grain merchants and aggregators in seven locations across the country.

“NAFDAC, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, organised two sensitisation workshops for agro-input dealers on a safe and responsible use of Crop Protection Products in Kano and Oyo states prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.

“However, this will be extended to the other parts of the country when the condition is more favourable,” she said.