BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) at the weekend advised consumers to extensively parboil their beans already stocked before consumption as well as to make sufficient enquiries before engaging in new purchases.
The Council gave the advice in a statement released by its Director General, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, on the heels of information that has gone viral on the reported use of sniper to preserve beans by retailers.
The Council said in addition to the cooking method and making enough enquiries before purchase, consumers should sufficiently wash their food items before cooking, noting that “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 CPC boss, in the statement, said the government agency “has recently confirmed by credible information 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”.
Irukera pointed out that sniper, by its chemical composition and nature, is potentially injurious when human beings are “unduly exposed by 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, even though, an unintended consequence”.
While cautioning further on the dangers of using unauthorised chemical to preserve food items, the DG said though cooking significantly reduces risk of exposure from pesticides, “as most are diminished under extended periods of direct heat in excess of 100 degrees, the best possible caution is to avoid subjecting food items to pesticides not in accordance with prevailing food safety regulations”.
Meanwhile, he said the Council was already collaborating with other relevant regulators to address the emergent situation.