European Union Bans Importation Of Nigerians Foods


The European Union (EU) has banned some Nigerian foods from being exported into Europe, PunchNG reports. The food items banned from Europe till June 2016 are beans, sesame seeds, melon seeds, dried fish and meat, peanut chips and palm oil. This is a setback for a nation that desperately needs to expand its export basket to boost domestic agricultural activities and create jobs.
Why Did The European Union Suspend These Food Exports From Nigeria?
The first answer someone gave to is that, “they hate us and don’t want us to prosper. They look for every opportunity to make us look bad.” I don’t know about this but what I know for sure is that they need these agricultural products for their own food too and would not want it to stop coming to them.
What is now the problem? Why did they ban these agricultural foods?
First of all, it is not that they hate us. They don’t!
According to the European Food Safety Authority, the rejected beans were found to contain between 0.03mg per kilogramme to 4.6mg/kg of dichlorvos pesticide, when the acceptable maximum residue limit is 0.01mg/kg. The embargo is a reflection of our inability to adhere to global standards, and this has come to haunt us at the international level again.
For some time, the EU has been warning Nigeria that the items constitute danger to human health because they “contain a high level of unauthorised pesticide.” The pesticide is applied when the products are being prepared for export. The EU said it had issued 50 notifications to Nigerian beans exporters since January 2013. It is baffling that the Nigerian authorities didn’t take any significant steps to reverse the situation.
Likewise, the United Kingdom also issued 13 border rejection alerts to Nigerian beans exporters between January and June 2015.
The question on my mind is, “how do we preserve these foods for our own local consumption?” We really need to know this. Is it the same way as those we export? If so, don’t you think NAFDAC should ban the use of these pesticide too?
Paul Orhii, the Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control said that exporters caused the problem by not complying with regulatory requirements for semi-processed and processed commodities.
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