The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said the health of Nigerians is threatened by the daily consumption of items such as pure water and smuggled frozen chicken which according to him poisonous foods and are detrimental to health.
Ogbeh disclosed this yesterday while speaking to Senate Committee on Agriculture during a one-day public hearing at the National Assembly on bills bothering on food security by the committee.
According to him, the consumption of poison from some food items everyday arose from wrong habits of processing and preserving such items.
He cited an example that preparing of foods like “moi moi” in cellophane, otherwise known as nylon, is poisonous because nylon contains a large dosage of dioxins which are naturally inactive in leaves when used to package such food.
He also added that the consumption of sachet water commonly known as pure water exposed to sun at over 28 degree centigrade, is poisonous and thus results in many cases of kidney and liver failure among Nigerians.
He also said that frozen chicken preserved with formalin (which is also used for the preservation of corpses), is commonly consumed by Nigerians had been the reason many experience serious health challenges in the land.
He went on to say that beans and grains preserved with too much pesticides by farmers and sellers is another dangerous food poison which he said had killed many Nigerians and is still killing a number of unsuspecting buyers and consumers.
The minister touched on the issue of wrong application of fertilizer by farmers on their farmland, which he said also leads to poisonous consumption of affected food items. “Unknowingly to many of the farmers, there is specific fertilizer for specific crops in specific state in line with soil texture,” he explained.
But for the attitude of over boiling meat by many Nigerians, many of them would have been infected by tuberculosis from consumption of cow meat in the poisonous foods they eat at restaurants.
“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 added.
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He commended the committee for working on the bills which he said would help guarantee food security in the country and simultaneously curb the production and preparation of poisonous foods. The bills are Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service Bill 2016, Food Security Bill 2016 and Nigerian Institute of Soil Science Bill 2016.