Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh yesterday warned Nigerians against eating food prepared with cellophane bags, saying through it they eat poison on daily basis.
Ogbeh, who spoke at a one-day public hearing on food security bills organised by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, said poisonous intake of some food items on daily basis arose from wrong habit of processing and preserving them.
He specifically gave example of moin-moin prepared in cellophane locally known as nylon as poisonous which according to him, contains a large dosage of dioxins that are naturally impotent in leaves when used to package the delicacy.
He also pointed out that consumption of sachet water exposed to sun at over 28 degree centigrade is poisonous, which results into many cases of kidney and liver failure among Nigerians.
He added that if not for our practice of over boiling meat, many Nigerians would have been infected by tuberculosis from consumption of cow meat.
“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 from people being infected with the deadly disease,” he said.
Smuggled frozen chicken preserved with formalin which is also used for preservation of dead bodies, according to the minister, has been potent poison being consumed by Nigerians with attendant serious health challenges in the land.
He also 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.
Wrong application of fertiliser by farmers on their farm land, the minister noted, 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.
The minister commended the Senate committee for working on the bills, that is, 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 curbing 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 acceptable policy on grazing reserves.
Senate President Bukola Saraki in his speech at the occasion 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.

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