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Over 200k die of food poisoning every year

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By Abraham Adekunle

Many farmers and business owners use harmful agrochemicals on their crops.

According to statistics from the National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), over 200,000 Nigerians die of food poisoning every year. The agency said that this was happening as a result of unsafe, unscrupulous practices going on with food preparation and preservation in the country. The figure also included children under the age of five who die from food contamination. An Uber driver, Mr. Peter Jeremiah, was one of the victims. He ate one of the local dishes and went to sleep, only to wake up the next day, feeling a severe stomach upset, which followed with vomiting and stooling.

Jeremiah had already fainted before he got to Gbagada General Hospital. According to his wife, someone who was also rushed to the hospital with the same symptoms did not survive. The doctor diagnosed him of food poisoning. Jeremiah told news correspondents that he would have died if his wife had waited before bringing him to the hospital. Another victim, a business woman in Lagos by the name of Mrs. Grace Nnamdi, also nearly died as a result of the ailment but was fortunate to survive.

NAFDAC had uncovered a number of consumption problems in the country.

What NAFDAC has always warned the people about are dangers in consuming certain foods and pharmaceutical products while also working hand in gloves with stakeholders to eradicate the menace. Weeks ago, the agency had warned against the dangers of patronizing drug hawkers. The director-general of the agency referred to them as “merchants of death.” The rationale is that the drugs they hawk about are usually expired and harmful for consumption. These drugs cause liver and kidney damage as well as harm other organs of the body.

At the same workshop in Abuja, the DG also warned against consuming fruits which have been ripened using calcium carbide. The chemicals in the carbide act as a ripening agent, but the same ones are used in steelmaking and other manufacturing processes. Thus, those who eat such fruits are ingesting harmful materials which cause problems to the body in the long run. So, when people take them, they consume the nutrients alongside the chemicals which are not meant to go into the body. Fruit sellers do this because they needed to hasten the ripening cycle of these products and make a fast profit.

Farmers are culpable in the spread of food poisoning in Nigeria.

Eva Edwards, the director of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at NAFDAC, revealed that foodborne diseases affect disproportionately the most vulnerable of the Nigerian society, including infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly and immunocompromised people. She disclosed that many farmers and business owners also contribute to the issue by using agrochemicals such as sniper for storage and preservation of agricultural commodities such as grains (beans). This results in a negative health outcome for the consumers.

They use these “preservatives” to kill pests which would have significantly reduced the amount of stock they have. To prevent “wastage,” they apply these chemicals to kill the insects attacking the food products and wait an amount of time before they are sold. This is in the hope that the chemicals would have worn off and it would now be safe for consumption. Other unethical practices which Nigerians indulge in include: tendering of meat with paracetamol by food vendors, which can lead to liver and kidney failure; using formaldehyde to preserve fish; injecting poultry with hormones to conceal disease; harmful food coloring applied to fresh fruit to cover defects; adding sudan dyes to palm oil to give an attractive red colour; and adding sugar-based products to honey.

DG of NAFDAC launched campaign against these malpractices.

Director Edwards said that Nigerians have right to good safety, healthy and nutritious food. She urged Nigerians to report unsafe unethical practices to NAFDAC for necessary regulatory action. Meanwhile, the DG of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, recently launched a campaign against drug hawking and ripening of fruits in Lagos to tackle the menace of food poisoning. She disclosed that consumption of fruits that have been ripened with harmful chemicals like calcium carbide may cause cancer, heart, kidney and liver failure.


Related Link

Mayo Clinic: Website


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Admin
3 months ago

Over 200k die of food poisoning every yearMany farmers and business owners use harmful agrochemicals on their crops.  – Express your point of view.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
Member
3 months ago

That’s a very concerning statistic. It’s terrible to think that so many people die of food poisoning every year. It’s important that we take steps to address this issue. One of the main causes of food poisoning is the use of harmful agrochemicals on crops. It’s critical that farmers and business owners are aware of the dangers of these chemicals and take appropriate measures to protect consumers. We need to work together to ensure that food is safe for everyone to eat.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
Member
3 months ago

We should be careful on what will use use on crop using of harmful product will cause damage or affect our health we are the one eating the food all this crop are made to eat so using a unharmful product on crop is required not harmful ones

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
Member
3 months ago

It is crucial that we act to solve this problem. The application of dangerous agrochemicals on crops is one of the primary causes of food poisoning. Farmers and business owners must be aware of the risks posed by these pesticides and take the necessary precautions to safeguard we the consumers who consumer it

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
Member
3 months ago

What NAFDAC has always warned the people about are dangers in consuming certain foods and pharmaceutical products while also working hand in gloves with stakeholders to eradicate the menace. Weeks ago, the agency had warned against the dangers of patronizing drug hawkers. The director-general of the agency referred to them as “merchants of death.” The rationale is that the drugs they hawk about are usually expired and harmful for consumption. These drugs cause liver and kidney damage as well as harm other organs of the body.

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
Member
3 months ago

I believe at this point it is paramount and important that we work resolve this problem. The addition of dangerous agrochemicals on crops is one of the causes of food poisoning. Farmers and business owners must be aware of the risks posed by these pesticides and take the necessary precautions to safeguard the consumers who eats this feeds