The European Union (EU) has banned Nigeria from exporting beans, meat, melon seed and some other farm products. The EU banned this product because of pesticide contamination.
Senator Joshua Lidani (Gombe South) brought this to the awareness of Nigerians. He raised alarm on the implication of eating farm products with high concentration of pesticide.
The EU banned beans, sesame seeds, melon seeds, dried fish and meat, peanut chips and palm oil.
The European Food Safety Authority alleged that beans from Nigeria contains between 0.03mg per kilogramme to 4.6mg/kg of dichlorvos pesticide, when the acceptable maximum residue limit is 0.01mg/kg.
Senator Lidani called on regulatory bodies to wake up and address the situation.
The EU ban should not have come as a surprise to us because they have very rigorous standards of checking food import especially with the shift towards organic foods. Unfortunately we do not have similar standards in Nigeria especially as it affects the food we consume.
We do not have standards of determining whether the foods we consume are noxious; whether they have chemicals that are harmful “NAFDAC and Standards Organisation of Nigeria are supposed to regulate but there is a limit to what they can do. “We are yet to realise the enormity of the problem; so unless we look into the effects of these harmful substances, we may end up having a population that is threatened by diseases such as cancer.
Cancer is a consequence of eating this kind of chemically harmful foods; so we need to do a lot of work.“ Lidani said that legislators would ensure that the laws establishing the regulatory agencies were strengthened to enable them to check such harmful foods. According to him, once the Senate constitutes its committees, the committees will begin to consider bills on food laws for amended in order to ensure food safety in the country.
It is up to us the legislator to strengthen their capacity, to look at the laws under which they are operating so they will not focus on just food that are exported but food that are consumed within. “You also have to educate the populace as to the kind of foods that are harmful; what level of pesticides you should apply (to your agric produce) and what effects the chemical fertiliser that (we apply to agric produce) have on the food we eat.
The EU threatened to ban the products permanently if Nigeria continues to export products filled with chemicals.