It is saddening to note that chemical poisoning has become more rampant than ever before. Food producers add all kinds of illicit chemicals to food in order to make more profit or to protect their goods. Our fruits are mostly poisons on display. How exactly did we get here? How did we become a nation that poisons itself? Have we chosen agrochemicals as our weapon of self destruction?
Is pesticide the new food additive?
Chemical poisoning has become a real threat in recent times. I once bought crayfish that was treated with an unknown chemical to ward off insects and rodents. I shared the details of my experience here in a previous post. https://foodsafetyswitch.com/2017/11/26/what-is-in-our-crayfish/
A few months ago, the nation watched with horror as a video showing dichlorvos (Sniper) being generously applied to stock-fish went viral. The vendor did this with a display of absolute disregard for humanity and the law. Dichlorvos (2,2-Dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate, also known as DDVP), is now being used for storage and preservation of different commodities by unauthorized persons and at unauthorized doses.
Even more disheartening is the fact that DDVP, registered as ‘Sniper’, has become the ‘go-to’ suicide assistant, because it is readily available at every shop, supermarket and street corner. What is the deal with Sniper? Why are our boys and girls committing suicide? I think the move by NAFADAC to ban the retail version of the chemical was a good one. However, the problems are diverse and we need diverse solutions.
Following a public alert, the sale of Sniper in the open market and supermarket has been banned. But how long will this last? Does the government have plans for enforcement? Your questions are as many as mine but you can find details of the ban here: https://www.nafdac.gov.ng/public-alert-on-use-of-agrochemicals-such-as-sniper-for-storage-preservation-of-agricultural-commodities/
Another agrochemical that is grossly abused is DD Force. This is an organophosphate compound with poisonous effect on agricultural pests, including sucking and chewing insects spider mites, aphids, caterpillars, and whiteflies. It acts via stomach contact and respiratory poisoning. Recently, it has become a common site in homes across the country.
We really need to be cautious and stop our illicit use of chemicals.
I cannot say this enough: there is need for us to embrace food safety.
Everybody has a role to play in order to ensure that the food we consume is safe and will not cause damages to our health.
The theme for the maiden edition of the World Food Day was, “Food Safety, everyone’s business”. Therefore, let us make it our business.
We will be discussing more on chemical poisoning in the coming days. Please leave your comments. I will like to know your thoughts on this issue.