17.05.2005 General News

Research reveals arsenic cassava.

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Accra, May 17, GNA. - Cassava tubers from reclaimed land after mining are arsenic, Mr Samuel Obiri, Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry, University of Cape Coast, has said.

He said the research revealed that 10 out of 100 people who ate such cassava and its by-products could contract cancer and related diseases. Mr Obiri said the research conducted at Tarkwa, Bogoso, Prestea, Tamso and Aboso, all in the Western Region, found that chemicals used in processing minerals sipped down leading to the contamination of the soil with poison.

Mr Obiri said these at a workshop on "Alternative Perspective of Mining, Processing and long term Consequences" organised by the Wassa Association of Communities affected by Mining (WACAM), in Accra on Tuesday.

He said that adults eating cassava from the area and fufu prepared from the arsenic crop could suffer cancer and related diseases. Mr Obiri said further research in non-mining area farms showed that cassava from the other communities were not arsenic and cautioned members of the public who ate cassava to be careful since one could not differentiate arsenic cassava from a non arsenic crop on the market. He urged mining companies to adopt strategies to reduce the poison from the soil.

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