The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said, it would enforce the ban on importation of two pesticides, Paraquat and Atrazine by 31st December 2022 and 2023 respectively.
The announcement was contained in a statement signed by the Director General (DG) of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye on Tuesday, October 25, 2022.
TheFact Daily gathered that the announcement was coming on the heels of an accusation labeled against the Agency by an online news platform, insinuating that NAFDAC had failed in its duties to regulate and control the use of Pesticides in the country and further called on the federal government to set up a new Agency to take up that function.
In response, Prof. Adeyeye highlighted some of NAFDAC’s ongoing activities in the regulation and control of pesticides used in the country.
She said: “as part of the Agencys efforts to safeguard the health of the Nigerian populace in 2019, the underlisted regulatory measures and controls were put in place to arrest/mitigate the abuse and misuse of Agrochemicals:
NAFDAC banned the importation and manufacture of 100ml pack size of Agricultural formulations of Dichlorvos with immediate effect. NAFDAC banned with immediate effect hawking of all agrochemical formulations.
“Mandatory listing of Dealers (distributors/marketers/retailers) of agrochemicals. Training and certification of Agro-input dealers nationwide in collaboration with CropLife Nigeria and Nigeria Agro-Input Dealers Association (NAIDA).
“The Agency introduced a permit to clear all bulk pesticides and agrochemicals.
Sensitization of stakeholders on safe and Responsible use of Pesticides and Agrochemicals nationwide.
NAFDAC advised the general public to desist from the misuse of agricultural formulations of Dichlorvos as household insecticides.
“In 2020, the Agency in a collaborative effort reviewed the safety profile of some registered agrochemicals in Nigeria and in consultation with relevant stakeholders, initiated a four -year phase out plan for Paraquat and Atrazine products considering the health risks these products pose to public health, and bearing in mind the need to have in place adequate and suitable replacements for these products.
“In light of the foregoing, the ban and enforcement action for Paraquat and Atrazine are as follows: The importation of Paraquat and Atrazine is to stop on 31st December 2022 and 2023 respectively.
“Moratorium for the exhaustion of available stock for Paraquat and Atrazine will be January- December 2023 and 2024 respectively.
Ban and enforcement action for Paraquat and Atrazine will commence on 1st January 2024 and 2025 respectively”, she said.
The NAFDAC Boss further informed that the regulatory activities of the Agency rest on its mandate stated in NAFDAC Act Cap N1 LFN 2004 amidst other laws to ensure safety, quality and efficacy as well as establish compliance with global best practices.
She also noted that NAFDAC had continually reviewed its guidelines and strengthened collaboration with MDAs and stakeholders to ensure effective control of pesticides.
Adeyeye also said NAFDAC laboratories were ISO 17025 certified and they ensured that all packaged food products for local consumption and export followed the Codex Minimum Residue Limits (MRLs).