Nigerians fond of consuming foodstuffs and fruits including Banana and Plantains forced to ripe with any chemical substance including calcium carbide are likely to die young or suffer heart, kidney and liver failure.
This is the official position of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The agency gave the warning earlier this week in Abuja in a statement signed by its management.
The agency stressed that dangerous side effects of carbide-ripened fruits include cancer and other illnesses such as heart, kidney and liver failure.
The statement said “NAFDAC hereby warns farmers and the general public against the dangers of using calcium carbide for ripening fruits such as banana, mango, plantain, orange and cashew”.
Giving details on how to identify carbide-ripened fruits, the management said that “naturally ripened fruits usually have brown or black spots while those artificially ripened have traces of powdery substances and peel off quickly.”
“Ripening fruits and vegetables with calcium carbide is a criminal offence,” adding that henceforth, perpetrators would be prosecuted. It advised the public to “report suspected cases to the nearest NAFDAC office or call 09094262773, 09094262772 and 08133630600.” The agency reiterated its commitment to safeguarding the health of Nigerians.
Business Hilights recalls that NAFDAC, established in 1993, is mandated to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, chemicals, detergents, medical devices and packaged water.
Prof. Moji Adeyeye, founder of Drugs for AIDS and HIV Patients, a non-profit organisation, is the Director General of the agency.