Several months after the European Union, E.U, banned dry beans coming into European countries from Nigeria, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, over the weekend urged the European body to lift the ban. Acting Director-Generalof NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, during the visit of EU/Dutch Mission to NAFDAC
laboratory in Oshodi, Lagos, stated that she was optimistic that the EU would be magnanimous enough to lift the ban in a few weeks. According to her, “The active interest taken by the Netherlands on behalf of the EU on this restriction is not in any way surprising, because the Netherlands is not only a huge importer of fresh produce from Africa, it is equally the host country of the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods.
“Nigeria through NAFDAC is contributing to the establishment of best practices for the prevention of establishment of best practices for the prevention of contaminants in primary and processed food production and in the establishment of methods of analysis for contaminants food,” she added The leader of the fact-finding team, Dr. GijsKleter, a senior researcher at Wageningen University and various research institutes specialising in healthy food and living environment, noted that ban on food products usually lasts 12 months. According to him, “We can’t speculate on the outcome of what is going to be the outcome of the discussion the EU will be having next month, whether or not to prolong the ban or suspend it. “We are here to look into the factors contributing to the problems, whether what is being exported to Europe can live up to the climate, safety and quality standards and the willingness of the Nigerian government to address the issue,” he added. The EU placed a year ban on Nigerian beans last June after the body said it discovered a high level of pesticide on dry beans coming from Nigeria. The European Food Safety Authority, an EU agency that provides independent scientific advice and communicates on existing and emerging risks associated with the food chain, had said the rejected beans were found to contain between 0.03 milligram per kilogramme (mg/kg) to 4.6mg/kg of dichlorvos pesticide, when the acceptable maximum residue limit is 0.01mg/kg.