The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) yesterday raised the alarm on Sniper -treated beans presently in the markets across the country.
The council said that it recently confirmed from credible informants that retailers, mostly in the open market are using a pesticide, 2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate (DDVP) compound, otherwise marketed and known as ‘Sniper’ to preserve beans, and more particularly to eliminate or protect from weevils.
A statement released by Council’s director- general, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, noted that Sniper, by its chemical composition and nature, is potentially injurious when exposed to human beings through inhalation, absorption, direct skin contact or ingestion, stressing that the risk of injury on account of consumption of beans exposed to, or treated with Sniper is also existential, with an unintended consequence.
The council therefore advised consumers to extensively parboil their beans already stocked before consumption as well as to make sufficient enquiries before engaging in new purchases.
It also said in addition to the cooking method and making enough enquiries before purchase that consumers should sufficiently wash their food items before cooking, noting that in any and every case, thoroughly washing of food items before consumption or preparation for consumption is a generally accepted method of protecting and promoting safety.
While underlining the dangers of using unauthorised chemical to preserve food items, the DG said though cooking significantly reduced risk of exposure from pesticides, as most are diminished under extended periods of direct heat in excess of 100 degrees, that the best possible caution is to avoid subjecting food items to pesticides that are not in accordance with prevailing food safety regulations.
Meanwhile, he said that the council is already collaborating with other relevant regulators to address the emergent situation.