The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has warned against the consumption of fruits ripened with calcium carbide.
The agency said fruits ripened with carbide could cause cancer, kidney and liver failure and heart diseases among others.
The agency gave the warning in a statement it issued on Monday.
Said the agency: “NAFDAC hereby warns farmers and the general public against the dangers of using calcium carbide for ripening fruits such as banana, mango, plantain, orange and cashew.”
Giving advice on how to identify carbide-ripened fruits, the agency said: “naturally ripened fruits usually have brown or black spots while those artificially ripened have traces of powdery substances and peel off quickly.’’
Warning that it is a criminal offence to ripen fruits with carbide, NAFDAC said anyone found guilty would be prosecuted.
It advised the public to report any suspected case to the nearest NAFDAC office or call 09094262773, 09094262772 and 08133630600.