Ogbeh warns on poisonous food intake
Says grazing land problem is being addressed
The Federal Government yesterday warned Nigerians on the poisonous intake of some food items on a daily basis, which arose from wrong habit of processing and preserving them.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Audu Ogbeh, made the disclosure yesterday at a one-day public hearing on food security bills organised by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.
He specifically gave example of ‘moin-moin’ prepared in cellophane, locally known as ‘nylon’, as poisonous, which according to him, contain a large dosage of dioxins that are naturally impotent in leaves when used to package the delicacy.
Ogbeh, who also pointed out that consumption of sachet (pure) water exposed to sun at over 28° centigrade is poisonous, resulting into many cases of kidney and liver failure among Nigerians, said if not for our practice of over-boiling meat, many Nigerians would have been infected by Tuberculosis (TB) from consumption of cow meat.
He said: “Many of the cows being moved from one place to the other by herdsmen are already infected with tuberculosis but our practice of boiling meat very well here has been the saving grace for people not being infected with the deadly disease.
“Smuggled frozen chicken preserved with formalin, which is also used for preservation of dead bodies, have been potent poison being consumed by Nigerians with attendant serious health challenges in the land.”
The minister, who cited example of beans and grains preservation with over-dosage of pesticides by farmers and sellers as another dangerous food poison that had killed many Nigerians and still killing unsuspecting buyers and consumers, noted that wrong application of fertiliser by farmers on their farmland has also led to poisonous consumption of food items.
“Unknowingly to many of the farmers, there is specific fertiliser for specific crops in specific state in line with soil texture”, he explained.
Ogbeh commended the Senate committee for working on the bills, Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service Bill 2016, Food Security Bill 2016 and Nigerian Institute of Soil Science Bill 2016, which according to him, would help in food security in the country and curb production of poisonous foods, saying: “Rejection of Nigerian farm produce abroad is embarrassing.”
He assured Nigerians that the problem of farmers/Fulani herdsmen would soon be over, as the ministry would soon come up with an acceptable policy on grazing reserves.
In his speech at the occasion, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the need for food security in the country and vibrant agricultural sector for the needed diversification of the nation’s economy, moved the Senate into introducing the bills and working on them.