National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned the public to shun consumption of fruits ripened with calcium carbide.
The agency gave the warning yesterday in Abuja in a statement issued by its management, saying that dangerous effects of carbide-ripened fruits include cancer and other illnesses.
According to the management, consuming such fruits can also cause heart, kidney and liver failure.
“NAFDAC hereby warns farmers and the general public against the dangers of using calcium carbide for ripening fruits such as banana, mango, plantain, orange and cashew,” the statement read in part.
On how to identify carbide-ripened fruits, the management said “naturally ripened fruits usually have brown or black spots while those artificially ripened have traces of powdery substances and peel off quickly.
” The Agency further warned that “ripening fruits and vegetables with calcium carbide is a criminal offence,” adding that, henceforth, perpetrators would be prosecuted.
It advised the public to “report suspected cases to the nearest NAFDAC offi ce or call 09094262773, 09094262772 and 08133630600.
” The agency reiterated its commitment to safeguarding the health of Nigerians.
Founder of Drugs for AIDS and HIV Patients, a non-profit organisation, Moji Adeyeye, is the Director-General of the agency