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NAFDAC: All toxic pesticides banned in Europe but used in Nigeria will be reviewed

Mojisola Adeyeye NAFDAC Mojisola Adeyeye NAFDAC

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says toxic pesticides reportedly imported and sold in Nigeria will be reviewed and banned.

In a statement, Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general of NAFDAC, said some of the pesticides sold in Nigeria, particularly, chlorpyrifos contain toxic ingredients that are harmful to humans, animals, and the environment.

TheCable had earlier reported that a study by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, revealed there was a surge in the use of toxic pesticides by farmers in the country.

Commenting on the report by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the NAFDAC DG said the agency was working to phase out all toxic pesticides imported into Nigeria.

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“The dangers posed by pesticides are of immense concern to the agency and there have been recent concerns from stakeholders such as the report of the study conducted by Heinrich Boll Foundation; a non-governmental organisation that claimed that 40 percent of pesticides used in Nigeria had been banned in the EU,” the statement reads.

“There was also an alert received from the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development (FMARD) cautioning on the possibility that the European Union and United Kingdom were exporting banned Neonicotinoid pesticides to Nigeria and other poorer countries.

“Emphasis was placed on chlorpyrifos and its variants due to their harmful effects on humans, animals, beneficial insects, and the environment.

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“During her first term as the director-general, she gave a directive to review and analyze the list of registered pesticides and petrochemical active ingredients in the NAFDAC Registered Product Automated Database (NARPAD) vis-à-vis actives banned, non-approved, or restricted in the European Union, other countries or by relevant international organizations.

“That led to several meetings with stakeholders and November 2022 meeting when timelines were set for the phase-out ban of the various pesticides.

“Pesticides are applied both indoors and outdoors for the management of pests, vector-borne diseases, and for crop protection. They are sometimes impregnated in textiles, paints, carpets, and treated wood to control pests and fungi. However, the toxicity associated with the misuse and abuse of pesticides is worrisome as it affects food safety and food security.

“The toxicity of pesticides is managed through stringent regulatory activities to reduce severe health implications on humans, crops, and the environment. This can be achieved through awareness and continual sensitization of stakeholders.”

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During the meeting on pesticide regulation, the agency said stakeholders resolved to ensure “pesticides and agrochemical importers and manufacturers would be advised to institute stewardship plans, such as post-marketing surveillance and research in their companies”.

“NAFDAC to collaborate with research institutes in the conduct of research and scientific data generation on pesticides to enable the agency to make evidence-based decisions and policies,” it added.

“NAFDAC to intensify post-marketing surveillance nationwide.”

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