The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology has refuted a statement
circulating in some sections of the media alleging that the use of
chemical fertiliser poses serious health risks that could lead to
death, allergy, sickness and disability.
A statement made available by the SA Media to the supervising Minister
of Science and Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, Efem Nkanga described
the statement as a misinformed view that is totally incorrect and
Abayomi Oguntunde, deputy director, Department of Physical and Life
Science, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, who represented
the Minister at a three-day first national conference on environmental
health sciences organised by the Faculty of Public Health, University
of Ibadan, had been quoted as saying that the use of chemical
fertiliser poses serious health risks that could lead to death,
allergy, sickness and disability and that GM crops ensure better and
safer agricultural practices because it avoided the use of chemical
fertiliser which endangers the environment by killing off beneficial
organisms in soil.
Describing the statement as a reckless one that does not represent the
position of Mrs Johnson as the Supervising Minister of Science and
Technology nor the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development or the Federal Government of Nigeria, Nkanga enjoined
Nigerians to disregard the caution on chemical fertilizers.
Fertilizers- both organic and inorganic- are scientifically proven to
improve soil fertility management and ensure more productive,
nutritious, safe and environmentally sustainable food production. The
use of fertilizers is safe and does not constitute any dangers to
human health or consumer safety. All over the world, about 50% of
total growth in food production comes from the use of fertilizers.
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development, supports farmers in efficient and safe use of organic and
inorganic fertilizers to boost food production, improve food security,
enhance human nutrition and reverse soil nutrient depletion and soil
degradation. The Ministry of Science and Technology strongly supports
these efforts and advises the public not to be misinformed or alarmed
by the erroneous misstatements.