WHILE it is most beneficial to consume healthy fruits and vegetables during its season, especially in a country, like Nigeria, that lacks system of preserving fruits and vegetables, to keep them fresh through the seasons of the year, Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC has warned against the danger of consuming unhealthy fruits and vegetables during the season.
For economic gains, some in the country result to harvesting unripe fruits and ripped them with Calcium Carbide. Monday, in Abuja, NAFDAC, in a management statement, drew attention to the health hazards of consuming carbide-ripened fruits.
NAFDAC said consumers of carbide-ripened fruits run the risk of cancer, as well as 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 management statement said.
NAFDAC gave signs to identify artificially or carbide-ripened fruits to include “traces of powdery substances and peel-off quickly”, while “naturally ripened fruits usually have brown or black sports”. NAFDAC warned that “ripening fruits and vegetables with calcium carbide is a criminal offence”. Those who engage in it would henceforth be prosecuted.
In its commitment to safeguarding public health, NAFDAC provided official telephone numbers [09094262773, 09094262772 and 08133630600] to call and report suspected cases of ripening fruits and vegetables with calcium carbide.