The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) yesterday alerted Nigerians to the availability of beans sold in the markets which had been preserved with poisonous substances.
The agency thus advised consumers to extensively parboil their beans before consumption and to make sufficient enquiries before making purchases.
CPC’s director-general, Mr Babatunde Irukera, gave the advice through a press statement following information that had gone viral on social media about the reported use of the insecticide, Sniper, to preserve beans by some retailers.
He further advised consumers that in addition thorough cooking and making enough enquiries before making purchases, consumers should sufficiently wash their food items before cooking.
“In any and every case, thoroughly washing food items before consumption or preparation for consumption is a generally accepted method of protecting and promoting safety.
“CPC has recently confirmed credible information that retailers, mostly in the open market, are using a pesticide to preserve beans.
“They use 2.2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate (DDVP) compound, otherwise marketed and known as Sniper, to preserve beans, and more particularly to eliminate or protect from weevils.”
According to Irukera, Sniper, by its chemical composition and nature, is potentially injurious when human beings are “unduly exposed by inhalation, absorption, direct skin contact or ingestion.”
He emphasised that the risk of injury on account of consumption of beans exposed to, or treated with Sniper was also existential, even though an unintended consequence.
Irukera explained that even though cooking significantly reduced the risk of exposure to pesticides, that best possible caution was to avoid subjecting food items to pesticides because it is not in accordance with prevailing food safety regulations.
He added that the Council was already collaborating with other relevant regulators to address the situation.