Reps call for prosecution of those selling artificially-ripened fruits

Reps call for prosecution of those selling artificially-ripened fruits

- Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are worried about the sales and consumption of artificially-ripened fruits in Nigeria

- They have called on the NAFDAC to constitute a team that would go round farms where fruits were forced to ripe

- The lawmakers advised the agency to swing into action and put a stop to the unhealthy practice

The House of Representatives on Thursday, April 19, urged the executive to check the sale and consumption of artificially-ripened fruits in the country and prosecute those involved in the business.

It urged the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to immediately carry out massive enlightenment to sensitise the public on the menace.

This followed a motion by Rep Edward Pwajok (Plateau-APC) at plenary. Moving the motion, Pwajok said there were reported cases of ripening of fruits with calcium carbide in Nigeria, NAN reports.

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NAIJ.com notes that he said that in a bid to make inordinate profit and capitalize on the huge national demand for fruits, especially mango, banana, plantain and oranges, fruit dealers used a chemical – calcium carbide, to ripen fruits.

“These acts are reported to cause serious health problems because of their radioactive elements that cause cancer. The application of the noxious chemicals is done by farmers and sellers without the knowledge of the harmful effect it causes on innocent buyers and consumers who take fruits because of its nutritional value," he said.

The lawmaker disclosed that NAFDAC had warned Nigerians to shun the consumption of fruits ripened with calcium carbide, adding that the act was the reason cancer cases were on the rise in Nigeria.

Contributing to the motion, Rep Emmanuel Oker-Jev (Benue-APC) said that the report he read about adulterated fruits hit him, knowing that fruits which ought to improve his health now posed great danger to it. He said that the development was serious and advised NAFDAC to swing into action and put a stop to the unhealthy practice.

Also, Rep. Serguis Ogun (Edo- PDP) said that in his constituency, NAFDAC should, like National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), constitute a team that would go round farms where fruits were forced to ripe.

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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the House of Representatives at plenary on Thursday, December 21, 2017 asked the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to immediately place a ban on the dispensing and sales of codeine across the counter nationwide.

It was reported that the reps took the decision following the high rates of cases of drug abuse in some parts of the country.

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Source: Naija.ng

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