A health expert and professor of pharmacognosy, Professor Maurice Iwu has warned Nigerians to desist from the consumption of imported rice, saying they contain heavy metals and toxins that are harmful to the body.
Iwu gave the advice at the ceremony of the international conference on alternative sweeteners tagged: “Harnessing of the economic potentials of Thaumatin (Thaumatococcus danielli) in Africa” held at Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Lagos last weekend.
Iwu, who is a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), disclosed that most of the countries that Nigeria imports rice from are known to have heavily contaminated soils that have been overplanted over the years with a lot of chemical fertilizers.
Such soil, he stated, contain heavy metals and toxins that are not healthy to the human kidney and general wellbeing, which are transferred into the rice grains that the country imports.
“This is not anything about promoting Nigeria’s commodity, but I am talking from the scientific side of view that it is in our interest to eat made-in-Nigeria food, not just only rice, but particularly rice because of its nature. The rice grain absorbs minerals from the soil, including these harmful metals and chemicals.
“Secondly, the imported rice is polished and preserved with additional chemicals before they get here. That is why most of the imported rice look very clean and white, which is also a very bad sign,” Iwu said.
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