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June 2, 2024
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NAFDAC: Sniper linked to cancer and deaths, unsafe for food preservation

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has reiterated its warning against the use of dangerous chemicals for food preservation. The agency specifically highlighted the risks associated with dichlorvos, commonly known as Sniper®, which has been banned for such use.

In a statement by NAFDAC’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, concerns were raised following a viral video showing individuals using harmful chemicals on food items like beans, stockfish, and crayfish.

Since 2019, NAFDAC has banned the sale of small volumes (100 ml or less) of dichlorvos, with larger volumes (one liter) restricted to certified agrochemical outlets. The agency warned that dichlorvos poses severe health risks, including cancer and fatal outcomes.

NAFDAC’s Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, urged traders to stop using unauthorized chemicals on food, noting that misuse can cause developmental issues, memory loss, reduced fertility, and cancer.

Dr. Rametu Momodu, Director of Veterinary Medicine and Applied Products, also cautioned against using unapproved pesticides on food. She explained that approved fumigants should be used as directed and not applied directly to food due to their toxicity.

Consuming food contaminated with dichlorvos can lead to dizziness, vomiting, breathing difficulties, tremors, convulsions, coma, and death. Washing contaminated food does not remove the risk since the pesticide soaks into the food.

NAFDAC advises grain merchants and farmers to follow manufacturer guidelines and use dichlorvos only as intended. The agency also recommends safer alternatives like bio-pesticides for food preservation.

NAFDAC continues to conduct routine monitoring and sensitization meetings to ensure compliance with safety standards and to promote the use of safer chemicals in food preservation.

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