The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has banned the use of methyl bromide as fumigant in Nigeria.
The agency announced this in a statement signed on behalf of the Director-General, Professor Mrs. Mojisola Adeyeye, and made available on the agency website.
The agency reportedly said that their attention has been drawn to an upsurge in the demand for methyl bromide from Nigeria.
NAFDAC in the statement said that this is sequel to the new requirement of the government of some countries, such as Mexico and India, that methyl bromide must be used as fumigant on the agricultural produce being exported to their countries. NAFDAC, in exercising her mandate as entrenched in NAFDAC Act Cap N1 LFN 2004, wish to draw the attention of farmers, exporters of agricultural produce, agro-dealers and the general public on the ban on methyl bromide as a fumigant in Nigeria.
“Exposure may occur during fumigation activities. Studies in human indicate that the lung may be severely injured by the acute (short-term) inhalation of methyl bromide. Acute and chronic (long-term) inhalation of methyl bromide can lead to neurological effect in humans. The use of methyl bromide was banned by Montreal Protocol 1987 due to its effect on ozone layer depletion property.
Methyl Bromide has continued to receive critical uses exemption from other countries since 1987. From the documented abuse and misuse of other agrochemicals in Nigeria, the risks of use of Methyl Bromide will outweigh the benefit for critical use” NAFDAC reportedly said.
According to the statement, methyl bromide has not been registered nor issued on permit for importation and use since the ban.
NAFDAC called on farmers, agro-input dealers and exporters of agricultural produce to use alternative pesticides that were cheaper, safer and more effective.
It also urged the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment to look into the mandatory requirement of methyl bromide fumigants as a critical issue which could potentially injuries to both humans and the environment.