NAFDAC Raises Alarm Over Importation Of Banned Pesticides From UK

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control says it has received an alert from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development cautioning on the possibility that the European Union and the United Kingdom were exporting banned neonicotinoid pesticides to Nigeria and other poorer countries.

NAFDAC Director-General, Mojisola Adeyeye, in a statement yesterday, said the dangers posed by pesticides are of immense concern to the agency.

She also cited the report of the study conducted by Heinrich Boll Foundation which claimed that 40 percent of pesticides used in Nigeria had been banned in the European Union.

She said emphasis was placed on chlorpyrifos and its variants due to their harmful effects on humans, animals, beneficial insects and the environment.

She said NAFDAC had developed an action plan for the ban/phase-out of 12 active ingredients and the reclassification of  four other harmful pesticides in Nigeria.

She said the availability of alternatives in the country were put into consideration to ensure that stakeholders especially farmers are not  affected by the decisions taken.

Adeyeye said paraquat, chlorpyrifos, atrazine pesticides had been banned with effect  from January 1, 2024, November 1, 2024 and January 1, 2025 respectively.

She said the said the toxicity associated with the misuse and abuse of pesticides is worrisome as it affects food safety and food security.

“The toxicity of pesticides is managed through stringent regulatory activities to reduce severe health implications on humans, crops, and the environment. This can be achieved through awareness and continual sensitization of stakeholders.”

She said efforts to address harmful pesticides necessitated the review and analysis of the list of registered pesticide and agrochemical active ingredients in the NAFDAC Registered Product Automated Database vis-à-vis actives banned, non-approved or restricted in the European Union, other countries or by relevant international organizations