The Consumer Protection Council (CPC), yesterday, advised consumers to extensively parboil their beans before consumption and to make sufficient enquiries before engaging in purchases.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), CPC’s Director General, Babatunde Irukera, in a statement, gave the advice on the heels of information that had gone viral on social media on the reported use of sniper to preserve beans by retailers.
He said in addition to the cooking method and making enough enquiries before purchase, consumers should sufficiently wash their food items before cooking.
He said: “In any and every case, thoroughly washing food items before consumption or preparation for consumption is a generally accepted method of protecting and promoting safety.
“CPC has recently confirmed by credible information that retailers, mostly in the open market, are using a pesticide to preserve beans. They use 2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate (DDVP) compound, otherwise marketed and known as ‘Sniper,’ to preserve beans, and particularly to eliminate or protect from weevils.”
Irukera explained that sniper, by its chemical composition and nature, was potentially injurious when human beings are “unduly exposed by inhalation, absorption, direct skin contact or ingestion.”
He emphasised that the risk of injury on account of consumption of beans exposed to or treated with Sniper was also existential, even though an unintended consequence.
According to Irukera, though cooking significantly reduced risk of exposure from pesticides, the best possible caution is to avoid subjecting food items to pesticides, because it is not in accordance with prevailing food safety regulations.
He said the Council was already collaborating with other relevant regulators to address the situation.