Mayors and relevant decentralized services will organize intensive campaigns to inform the population of the dangers associated with the use of not-fit-for-consumption chemical products on foodstuffs. The campaign was ordered by Minister of Decentralization and Local Development (Minddevel), Georges Elanga Obam, in an instruction sent to divisional officers last August 17.
The Minddevel instructed divisional officers to invite the municipal magistrates of their command units to take "every useful measure" to organize these campaigns. According to the government official, these campaigns aim to make citizens more aware of the "high health risks" resulting from the use of pesticides and formaldehyde (used to preserve corpses) on food products sold in markets. Ultimately, the goal is to protect consumers.
Indeed, phytosanitary products approved in the country are being misused by unscrupulous producers and traders to accelerate the ripening or shelf-life of certain foods, notably plantain and fruit. This practice is prohibited in Cameroon. While this is not a new phenomenon, it does pose a threat, as the chemicals affect human health (cancer, heart rhythm disorders, respiratory ailments, etc.), according to health specialists.