American lawmaker raises alarm on cancerous implication of food production methods in Nigeria
Country Representative of the United States Rural Agriculture Department, Hilda Jose, yesterday raised alarm over food safety in Nigeria, and the implication of methods of food production, some of which she said are dangerous for consumption because of the cancerous effect of some of the processes and the materials used.
Jose explained this while speaking at a meeting with the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier-General Paul Boroh, on partnership with the office for job creation for amnesty trainees in the agricultural sector. At the meeting was Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Godie Bitrus Yohana and staff of the Amnesty Office.
For Jose who has done an extensive work in northern Nigeria in past years, especially in areas such as Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Taraba and a few other states, it is dangerous to health, to dry chili pepper, pea nuts and some other food materials by the road side as is common in certain areas, if not throughout the country. She explained that this simple act becomes dangerous because when water gets into the pepper or peanuts, it forms moles, which if grounded or eaten with whole nuts, becomes cancerous to the body.
She also explained that ripening bananas and plantains with carbide as is done in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), is dangerous to health and is cancerous. She added that rural farmers hardly use carbide on bananas but that this is done in Abuja. According to her, it is also dangerous to have a lot of sooth on smoked fish as is common in Nigeria.
Jose noted that the poor nature of food safety in Nigeria, is responsible for the low acceptance of food packaged in Nigeria by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and has continued to be responsible for the trade deficit between Nigeria and other countries in the area of food and agricultural produce.
She also noted that it is dangerous to health to defecate in the farms; adding that she had to shut down her work in one of the northern states some years back because defecation was done on the farms. She noted that onions from Nigeria are the best in the world, but faulted the preservation method.