Vijayawada

20 tonnes of fruits ripened with harmful chemicals destroyed

Vigilance and food safety officials examining mangoes during a raid at Kedareswarapet fruit market, in Vijayawada on Friday.

Vigilance and food safety officials examining mangoes during a raid at Kedareswarapet fruit market, in Vijayawada on Friday.

Continuing their raids on fruit markets in Krishna district, officials of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Vigilance and Enforcement (V&E) and Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) raided fruit stalls at Kedareswarapet Fruit Market, on Friday.

The special teams swooped on the wholesale mango shops and seized chemical powder sachets and sprays. They destroyed the stocks, weighing about 20 tonnes. Regional Vigilance and Enforcement Officer (RVEO) M. Ravindranath Babu, who participated in the raids, said samples of ethylene ripener and Chinese sprays were seized from the cartons. “Earlier, fruit merchants used to ripen fruits using hay. We seized papayas, bananas and mangoes earlier and warned the traders not to use chemicals to ripen the stocks. Despite repeated warnings, many merchants are using chemicals and are playing with the lives of the people,” the RVEO said.

Imported from China?

Assistant Food Controller N. Purnachandra Rao said the team members seized many powder sachets, which were reportedly imported from China. Ethepon is a harmful chemical being used to ripen mangoes, which is not advisable, he said. “We caution the public not to consume the fruits ripened using chemicals. The powders and sprays being used will cause many health disorders”, the FSSAI officials said.

More raids on fruit markets

Vigilance Deputy Superintendent of Police R. Vijay Paul said criminal cases would be booked against the traders once the chemical analysis reports arrived from the lab. “We request the traders not to use any type of chemicals and more raids will be conducted on fruit markets in the next few days”, Mr. Paul warned.


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Printable version | Jul 3, 2022 10:44:51 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/20-tonnes-of-fruits-ripened-with-harmful-chemicals-destroyed/article23858650.ece