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NAFDAC, NAQS disagree on use of Methyl bromide

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Director General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye

The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) has disagreed with the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) over the ban on the phytosanitary use of Methyl bromide.

NAFDAC had issued a public warning on the phasing out of the agro-chemical Methly bromide, but NAQS countered that the use Methyl bromide is allowed for controlled quarantine.

NAQS explained that the use of the agro-chemical was due to lack of suitable alternatives, especially where a specific request for its use is made.

The statement further explained that Mexico specifically requested the use of Methyl bromide in the treatment of Hibiscus shipments to the country – a trade that yielded over 35 million dollars for Nigeria within nine months in 2017 alone.

The statement signed by the Head of Media Communication and Strategies of NAQS added that under the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM), the use of Methyl bromide for the treatment of solid wood packaging materials in international trade is allowed.

It said, “All agro-chemicals are potentially harmful if not used safely. The major concern regarding the use of Methyl bromide is its effect on climate change, specifically on the depletion of ozone layer.

“Nonetheless, the Montreal Protocol provides exemption for individual countries on its usage based on special quota system.”

NAQS stated that the public should note that NAFDAC regulates chemicals generally, but their specific use in phytosanitary treatment is the statutory responsibility of NAQS as the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) for Nigeria under the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) guidelines. 

“Only NAQS can make public pronouncement on the use of Methyl bromide for phytosanitary treatment of agro-produce in Nigeria,” the statement stated.


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