Group Cautions on Use of Pesticides as Preservatives, Suicide

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League Against Pesticide Consumption (LAPC), a concerned group campaigning against the consumption of pesticides in Nigeria, has condemned the use of dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate, commonly abbreviated as an DDVP (and referred to as 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, the group’s statement released in Lagos came on the heels of the warning by Prof 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 DDVP in the preservation raw food items.

In the statement signed by Ms Olatunde Odebiyi, public relations adviser to the group, “Pesticides are chemical compounds that are used to kill pests, including insects, rodents, fungi and unwanted plants (weeds).

“ 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 food borne 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 (DDVP).”

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 (battery water) and bleach.

Odebiyi’s statement concluded that food stuff 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.