EU issues deadline on export of contaminated food products
Worried by the continued influx of contaminated food products in the international markets, the European Union (EU) has issued a deadline to the Nigerian government to restructure all managerial system that would improve quality or face an international ban.
This was disclosed by the Director General of National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii, during the visit of the new Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Col Hameed Ali, in Abuja, yesterday, that from June 16, 2016, the sanction will be implemented and products exported from Nigeria will face continued rejection.
Orhii expressed worry that food products coming from Nigeria are rejected at the international market due to it high pesticide residue, noting that these products are however consumed by Nigerians.
He further explained that the products contribute to the increased level of cancers, kidney failures and different other diseases in the country.
Orhii added that the collaboration with the NCS is to safeguard the health of the nation.
He said: “We have taken on that job to make sure that we are going to deploy mobile laboratories that will go from farms and markets to identify at what point these contaminants get into the food products and once we identify it we will conduct public awareness campaign and workshops for the people growing these foods.”
“We also want to put a system in place so that before these products leave our shores to the international markets, the NCS can inquire and test these products to curb the incidence of rejects at the markets.”
Orhii added that if the food products that are been rejection continues, it will slowly cripple the economy of Nigeria.
“This is most, especially when it comes to agricultural products like sesame seeds and beans which sometimes contain some contaminants like aflatoxins- pesticides residue.
“When we came in, Nigerian cocoa beans were been rejected at the international market because of pesticides residue but we held workshops with cocoa growers in Akure and since then, our cocoa exports have improved,” Orhii added.