The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) sent a warning to Nigerians to ensure they parboil their beans extensively before consumption as failure to do so may lead to food poising.
According to the Director-General of the Council, Babatunde Irukera, the agency had to send the warning after seeing the information that has gone viral where some retailers were reportedly using sniper chemical to preserve beans.
Speaking further, the director –general advised Nigerians to make sufficient inquiries before purchasing beans as information available at the weekend showed retailers have stocked up the affected commodity.
Consumers were also enjoined to wash their food thoroughly aside from being careful with purchase.
“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,” the statement said.
The statement confirmed information made available to the council revealed retailers, mostly in the open market were using 2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate (DDVP) compound, otherwise marketed and known as “Sniper” with the aim of protecting the beans against weevils.
Irukera said, “Sniper, by its chemical composition and nature, is potentially injurious when human beings are unduly exposed by inhalation, absorption, direct skin contact or ingestion,” Mr. Irukera said.
“The risk of injury on account of consumption of beans exposed to, or treated with Sniper is also existential, even though, an unintended consequence,” he added.
He added that although cooking significantly reduces the risk of exposure from pesticides as most are diminished under a long period of direct heat that exceeds 100 degrees, he said the best precaution is avoid using pesticide that is not in line with food safety regulations.
He assured the council was already working together with relevant authorities in order to address the situation and alleviate dangers consumers could be exposed to.