Monday, 13 July 2015

EU bans beans importation from Nigeria

The European Union (EU) has banned beans importation  from Nigeria temporarily. EU banned importation of beans because of the high level of pesticide in the beans which is a serious risk to the health of the consumers.

Pesticides are intentionally applied to the plants to attack pests, plant diseases and also used to store the beans. Most of the dried beans were found to contain between 0.03mg per kilogram and 4.6mg/kg of the dichlorvos pesticide, meanwhile the acceptable maximum level in the product is 0.01mg/kg.

Chemicals like Trichlorphon, Omethoate, Chlorpyrifos, Cyhalothrin and  Dimathoate were also discovered in the beans. Dichlorvos is highly toxic and when ingested can result in diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, sweating, difficulty in breathing and loss of consciousness.

The ban was confirmed at a forum organised Rays of Light Empowerment Initiative in Lagos by the Deputy Director, Ports Inspection Directorate, National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mrs Comfort Makanjuola. Speaking at the forum, she said EU has suspended the importation of beans from Nigeria until June 30th 2016.

According to the EU Commission Implementing Regulation 2015/943,50  notifications have been sent since January 2013 through its alert systems to Nigeria concerning the dried beans which contains high level of dichlorvos. Information gathered revealed that 13 border rejection alerts on dried beans had been issued by the United Kingdom (UK) authorities between January to July 1st 2015. 

The rejected beans are probably in the open market. Based on findings from study, National Coordinator of the World Bank Assisted program in Nigeria, Prof. Damian Chikwendu, describes Nigeria as an uncontrolled market of outdated, substandard and unscrupulous pesticides are handled by people with no real expertise on them.

Out of 360 farmers that were interviewed in 57 Local Government Areas across nine states, 92% admitted using the admitted using the pesticides in varying proportions themselves instead of hiring applicators with ‘knap sack’ sprayer.  Most people that sell and use these chemicals have little knowledge about them and don’t even  know  how to use them. 

These days we hear of cancers and all manners of health conditions. So many are linked to poor use of chemicals and pesticides. Many farmers use these chemicals to protect their crops and the effects are obvious…Chikwendu stated.


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