Reps reject unhealthy cassava "bread" bill.
5/24/2012 5:24:30 AM -
The House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected a bill seeking to make it mandatory for the inclusion of cassava in the production of all flour products in Nigeria.
Titled: 'A bill for an act to provide for the mandatory inclusion of cassava in the production of all flour in Nigeria and for other matters connected therewith', the bill failed to pass second reading.
The bill which is an executive bill had proposed that it was incumbent on the parliament to enact a law that would make its inclusion in all flours compulsory as it will not only be in line with President Goodluck Jonathan's initiative on cassava.
A Peoples Democratic Party member from Edo State, Mr. Peter Edeh, who led the opposition against the bill argued that compelling manufacturers of flour to include cassava would amount to compelling Nigerians to eat products that might be injurious to their health.
He said, 'Thirty to 40 per cent of Nigerians are diabetic and it will be unfair to compel them to eat cassava products since most diabetic patients are barred from consuming foods such as cassava,' he said.
'It will be impinging on people's rights and endangering their lives to compulsorily include cassava in what they eat.'
At the end of the debate, the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, conducted a voice vote and the lawmakers unanimously rejected the bill.
Majority of lawmakers, who kicked against the proposal, advised the government to find alternative ways of enhancing the exportation of cassava instead of forcing people to consume it.
Mr. President, if the inclusion of cassava in flour production is detrimental to the health of some citizens, why try to enforce it?