The officials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) are currently on surveillance in all nooks and crannies of the country to track and arrest anyone found using carbide to ripen fruits.
The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, who disclosed this at a sensitization campaign in Onitsha, Enugu state, warned sellers of fruits including oranges, banana, plantain and many others to desist from using carbide or risk being arrested.
She explained that carbide has enormous negative implications on the health of the people, hence, should not be used on fruits as it causes cancer, liver diseases and many other health complications.
Represented by the Director of Public Affairs of the agency, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, the NAFDAC Director General, however, appealed to Nigerians to be on the alert and report anyone found using carbide to ripen fruits to the nearest NAFDAC office or the law enforcement officials.
“In the past four years, we have been intensifying efforts to tackle the menace. We have held several sensitization fora for fruit and vegetable sellers across the country.
“This time around, we are taking the campaign to another level by going from community to community and getting the people enlightened and sensitize them about this ugly practice.
“This is because cases of cancers, kidney disease, liver cirrhosis that have been noticed in various hospitals across the country are traced to some of these sharp practices.
“To that extent, NAFDAC is intensifying its campaign and also appealing to fruit sellers to stop the practice and also cautioning prospective buyers to be vigilant about the nefarious activities of some people,” Prof. Adeyeye said.
She lamented that those who engage in such sharp practices at the altar of public health is a great disservice and that they are undermining the health system in Nigeria.
“All hands must be on deck to enlighten our people to allow fruit to ripe naturally as it is obtained in the past. But now people just want to make quick gain at the detriment of public health.
“We are appealing to Nigerians to be on alert and NAFDAC will not hesitate to deal severely with anyone that is apprehended for ripening fruits with carbide because our officials are already on surveillance watching,” she warned.
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