NAFDAC Warns against Use of Sniper to Preserve Foodstuffs

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has cautioned members of the public against the use of Sniper and all other brands of Dichlorvos (DDVP) in the preservation of foodstuffs.

It said the use of the chemical has health implications that can lead to death.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Resident Media Consultant to NAFDAC, Mr. Sayo Akintola, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye restated the dangers inherent in the continuous misuse and misapplication of Sniper and other brands of Dichlorvos by the general public, especially grain merchants, beans aggregators and dried fish sellers.

According to the NAFDAC DG, the continuous misuse of the dangerous agrochemicals in the preservation of foodstuffs is replete with health implications such “as weakness, headache, tightness in the chest, blurred vision, salivation, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, eye and skin irritation, eye pain, runny nose, lack of appetite, dizziness, convulsions, low blood pressure, and possibly death.”

Adeyeye said that this has necessitated the agency to put in place some regulatory measures, which include the immediate ban on the importation and manufacture of Sniper and all other Dichlorvos usually found in 100ml pack size.

In addition, she disclosed that the agency has taken measures against the misuse and misapplication of these hazardous agrochemical substances, including a ban on hawking and prohibited sale of crop protection products in the open market and supermarkets nationwide.

She added that the agency had embarked on sensitisation workshops in collaboration with relevant stakeholders on a safe and responsible use of crop protection products on agricultural commodity storage in seven locations across the country.
‘’NAFDAC in collaboration with relevant stakeholders organised two sensitisation workshops for agro-input dealers on the safe and responsible use of crop protection products in Kano and Oyo states prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.

She said that this will be extended to the other parts of the country when the condition is more favoUrable.
Adeyeye explained that the main uses of Dichlorvos (DDVP) are for insect control in food storage areas, greenhouses, and barns, and for parasite control in livestock, insisting that Dichlorvos is generally not used on outdoor crops.

She regretted that despite several warnings by the agency, some traders have continued to misuse and misapply the banned agrochemical to preserve foodstuffs, thereby endangering the lives of unsuspecting consumers.

‘’The agency wishes to inform the general public that our offices nationwide as part of their post marketing surveillance activities are to ensure enforcement of these regulatory measures and take appropriate sanction against defaulters,’’ she warned.