The House of Representatives has called on its Committee on Health Care Services to investigate the Sale and Consumption of Artificially Ripened Fruits and report its findings back to the House within four (4) weeks for further legislative action. This took place on Thursday, April 19 at a plenary session held on the house floor.
Artificial ripening is carried out of fruits like bananas, mangoes, oranges and plantains using chemicals like calcium carbide. This practice is carried out by farmers on their produce to hasten ripening and to improve the aesthetic quality of the fruits. On artificial ripening, the National agency of Food and Drug administration and control, last month, described the act as criminal and warned that prosecutors would be persecuted. << http://dailypost.ng/2018/03/26/carbide-ripened-fruits-cause-cancer-nafdac-warns-nigerians/ >>
Studies << https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229429873_Eating_Artificially_Ripened_Fruits_is_Harmful >> have found that calcium carbide or artificially ripened fruits can cause several allergic reactions as a result of carbide poisoning, as well other health conditions like cancer. These fruits are identified by their smooth complexion, easy to peel skins, reduced flavor and tastiness, and traces of white powder on the exterior.
Speaking about the practice, House Hon Edward Gyang Pwajok, (APC: Plateau) mentioned that despite the warning by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) who warned Nigerians to shun the consumption of fruits ripened with calcium carbide, the practice remained ongoing as farmers and sellers continue to apply the noxious chemicals to the detriment of innocent buyers and consumers. He mentioned that part of the challenge on curbing the use of the chemical on the fruits was that consumers placed a high value on the fruits due to their high nutritional content.
The House of Representatives also resolved to urge the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to prevent the practice of ripening and sale of such adulterated fruits with calcium carbide and prosecute those involved in this unwholesome practice. In addition, it urged NAFDAC and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to immediately carry out a massive public enlightenment campaign to sensitize members of the public on the menace.