The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has advised traders of food and fruits to avoid using insecticide such as sniper and carbide to ripen or preserve food.
Mrs Esther Itua, the Assistant Director of NAFDAC in Edo gave the advice this during a sensitisation programme at the Oregbemi Market, Ramad Park on Thursday in Benin.
“Sniper is a harmful substance which is not supposed to be consumed by humans and the recent trend of using sniper and carbide to ripen food such as plantain, mango, guava, banana and preserve beans and other grains is dangerous.
“The aim of today’s programme is to achieve one of NAFDAC’s mandates, which is safeguarding lives.
“We are here today at Oregbemi market, close to Ramad Park to sensitise the people about the dangers of using chemicals to ripen fruits.
“The use of calcium carbide is harmful to health and it causes diseases like kidney infection, skin cancer, ulcer, sleeplessness and makes you weak.
“The use of chemicals to ripen fruits has no benefit to the human body. It is very harmful and leads to sicknesses,” she said.
Itua said that the new trend of using dyes to colour palm oil to become more attractive to the eyes “is bad’’.
The assistant director advised consumers to be vigilant and ensure that they purchased only products that could ripen naturally.
She said that the use of such chemicals was a criminal offense and anyone caught would be punished.
She called on consumers to also report suspected dealers of fake food products to the nearest NAFDAC office.