The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, has warned dealers in beans to desist from using “Sniper” to store the produce as the chemical is too toxic for human consumption.
A statement issued on Sunday in Abuja by the Head of Media Unit of NAQS, Dr Chigozie Nwodo, said it was very alarming that a notoriously lethal substance has become a pesticide of choice for storage of beans in Nigeria.
The Coordinating Director of the agency Dr Vincent Isegbe in the statement said that “the substance in question is an organophosphate called DDVP ( 2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate) which is dangerous to health, if misapplied as a pesticide. Sniper in beans is a material equivalent of death in pot.
“Nigerians eat a lot of beans. It is a very popular staple food item in this part of the world. So, it may not be an exaggeration to say that sniper in beans is a weapon of mass destruction.”
He urged bean dealers to put respect for human life ahead of hunger for gain.
He advised them to withdraw beans already preserved with Sniper from the market and utterly destroy them.
Dr. Isegbe bemoaned the fact that the Sniper beans issue arose at a time when NAQS was close to achieving the lifting of EU ban on Nigerian beans.