JUBA, FEBRUARY 26th 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan’s prominent civil society and peace activist Edmund Yakani has appealed to the government to intervene and clear from local market a toxic Ugandan maize flour experts warned poses greater risk of cancer.
Scientists at the Ugandan National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) warned last week that Ugandan maize, sorghum and groundnuts contain 10 times or higher concentration of aflatoxin than the safety threshold recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
They say that grains they examined in different parts of the country contained 100 to 1,000 per billion (ppb) parts higher than the recommended, presenting cancer risk to consumers.
Naro made the revelations on Tuesday while giving a guided tour to Agriculture Minister Frank Tumwebaze and his Finance counterpart Matia Kasaija, who visited the crop and animal research institutes at Nakyessa on Gayaza-Zirobwe Road to acclimatise themselves with their operations and innovative outputs.
In reaction, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) expressed worries over the report, as South Sudan is one of the biggest markets for Ugandan goods including the maize flour and called on the parliament to intervene.
“CEPO is disturbed by this information around the government faces headache over maize flour. This is unhealthy practice and health serious concerns alert. This is requiring our national parliament to intervene immediately,” CEPO said in the statement extended to Sudans Post.
Yakani who is the Executive Director of CEPO said the government and the lawmaking transitional parliament should empower the South Sudan Bureau of Standards in order to protect the civil population from dangerous products.
“The leaders of the South Sudan Bureau of Standards have raised the alert that requires immediate executive and legislative government intervention. This unhealthy maize flour being supply to the country is offering national security threat to the population of the country,” he said.
“The bureau of standard should stand up firm on fighting corrupt practices that might have contributed for these serious dangerous compromises with standards. Our national parliament should undertake some serious steps for strengthening the work of bureau of standards, but also our parliament should have serious engagement in fight corrupt practices within the bureau of standards.
“The case of this identified unhealthy maize flour is a clear case of demonstrating practice of corruption within the bureau of standards. Our national security derives department of economic affairs should immediately investigate this raised alert on the unhealthy maize flour supply to the country,” he stressed.
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