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Suicide: NAFDAC bans production of smaller packs of Sniper

Suicide: NAFDAC bans production of smaller packs of Sniper
June 20
19:14 2019
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The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has placed a ban on the production of smaller packs of sniper.

The agency also said it will soon ban the use of paraquat and atrazine products by farmers.

Sniper is an insecticide used to eliminate insects while paraquat and atrazine are chemicals used as herbicide for weed and grass control.

Husman Bukar, the director, veterinary medicine and allied products directorate, NAFDAC, made this known at the launch of Lifeline, an herbicide, at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Oyo state.

Lifeline is produced by United Phosphorous Limited (UPL).

Bukar said the decision was coming at a time when new herbicides that are safer and environmentally friendly were being registered in Nigeria.

He said the agency would “mount evidence” that the products hurt applicators and the environment.

He also announced stricter measures to curtail the use of snipper in homes to end the abuse of the pesticide which in recent times had been associated with suicide in Nigeria.

“A date for the ban has not been announced but it will happen very soon. Paraquat has been banned in several countries and we cannot continue to allow it to come into Nigeria,” he said.

“Recently, some suicide cases have been associated with people drinking sniper, henceforth, we call on the agro-chemical industry to enhance their distribution channels so that this product (sniper) gets to only accredited distributors and marketers.

“We have also placed a ban on the manufacture of smaller packs of snipper which are easily purchased for household use.

“On the use of glyphosate by farmers, NAFDAC has placed a ban on glyphosate-based formulations with tallow-amine (an emulsifier and wetting agent for agrochemical formulations).

“Agrochemical companies have been given the grace period of between now and December 2019 to withdraw all glyphosate formulations with tallow-amine from the Nigerian market.”

Also speaking, Shanni Srivastava,  UPL country manager, said his company was working towards ensuring that only safer and environmentally friendly herbicides are introduced in the Nigerian market.

He said the launch of Lifeline was to offer a better and safer alternative to paraquat which, in several countries in Africa, had been banned.

Following the rampant cases of usage of sniper for suicide, a segment of Nigerians had taken to Twitter to call for the ban of the insecticide due to its affordability and the ease with which victims access the chemical.

“Federal government of Nigeria, Please, place a ban on Sniper now!!!!!!!!!!!!. Please lets retweet till those in authority take action,” a Twitter user had said.

“Parents should take note, chemists and pharmacies should take note, no more selling of Sniper, that shit is causing more harm than good. Say NO to suicide, say NO to Sniper,” another had tweeted.

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