Daily Trust (Abuja)

26 December 2012

Nigeria: Bwari Residents Express Fears Over Toxic Beans

People in Bwari Area Council have continued to express concern over the recent discovery of some bags of beans which contained toxic chemical popularly called 'Gamalin 20.'

The residents are of the views that if adequate measures are not taken to check the activities of grain sellers in the area, many residents might fall victim of their nefarious activities.

Mr Azeez Sanni, commended the council authorities for early discovery of such grains and urged them to continue to live up to their responsibilities.

Another resident, Wale Ibiyemi, said henceforth, he will no longer buy beans in the area until relevant authorities publicly declare beans in the area safe for consumption.

He appealed to grain sellers in the area to always be wary of the chemical they use to preserve their grains in the interest of the human health.

The Environmental Health Officers' Registration Council (EHORECON) on Thursday publicly destroyed 48 bags of beans which were discovered to be unfit for human consumption in the council.

Mr Augustine Ebisike, the Registrar, EHORECON, who disclosed this at a news briefing, said that the destruction was as a result of report made to the council that a woman had in her possession bags of beans mixed with a toxic chemical called 'Gamalin 20'.

Ebisike was speaking after an enforcement tour in collaboration with the Environmental Health Department at Bwari Area Council in Abuja.

"This chemical 'Gamalin 20' is a toxic chemical that is used mainly to preserve farm produce for planting," he said.

He said that the toxic chemical was discovered at the laboratory to be too much in the beans and if consumed could be dangerous to human health and could lead to death.

Ebisike said that the accused had been charged to the court and convicted but penalties would be stated after the destruction of the beans.

"It is the role of the public health officers to support the Bwari Area Council to conduct the analysis to prove to the court of law that the items seized are dangerous for human consumption."

He therefore appealed to the Federal Government to restore the laboratories where health officers could collect the samples and take the items for analysis.

Ahmed Labaran, the Head of Environmental Health Department, Bwari Area Council said that samples of the beans were taken to NAFDAC office in Kaduna State for laboratory test.

Labaran said that the owner of the shop was arrested and charged to a mobile Magistrate Court at the area council which gave an order for the produce to be destroyed before penalty could be stated.

"Before we could apprehend the owner of the beans, we had to pretend that we wanted to buy bags of beans, and then she agreed to go and open the shop where they got the samples from.

"When we saw Gamalin in her shop we asked her if she was aware that it is dangerous to human health, and then we told her who we were and got her arrested," he said.

The accused said she was not aware that the chemical was dangerous for human consumption.

With Agency Report

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