Home > NEWS > Artificial ripening: HC asks food officials to submit action plan

Artificial ripening: HC asks food officials to submit action plan

3,September, 2015
HYDERABAD: Acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice SV Bhatt of the Hyderabad high court made the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the food safety commissioners of AP and Telangana respondents to the case regarding artificial ripening of fruits through calcium carbide. On Wednesday, he directed them to file affidavits within two weeks explaining the steps they will take to ensure availability of chemical-free fruits. Fruit traders use banned calcium carbide to hasten ripening of fruits.

The bench, which had earlier taken up the matter suo motu as a public interest petition following a report in a vernacular daily, expressed dismay when amicus curiae S Niranjan Reddy explained the ill effects of consuming artificially ripened fruits. The ill effects include vomiting, diarrhoea, burning sensation in the chest, sore throat, shortness of breath and burning sensation in the eyes, along with built up of fluids.

"Whenever I eat fruits, I feel a burning sensation. I was under the impression that it is due to acidity and I have been consuming related medicines. We generally do not connect this burning sensation to fruits. I never knew that even the burning sensation in eyes is related to the fruits we consume," Justice Bhosale said. The bench had earlier ordered flash raids on fruit markets which resulted in seizure of large quantities of calcium carbide. Fruit samples were collected from markets for chemical analysis.

Reddy also told the bench that all the samples had tested positive for calcium carbide. The bench felt that the pressure on fruit vendors should be maintained and ordered raids on retail vendors too. The bench suggested that senior counsel P Gangaiah Naidu, who was appearing for fruit vendors in Hyderabad wholesale markets, come out with novel ways of resolving the issue after consultations with traders. There is no point in defending them, let them mend their ways and come forward with better ideas to offer safe fruits to people, the bench said.

The senior counsel charged authorities, who collect crores of rupees from traders, with failing to provide minimum facilities to them. The bench assured him that it would look into this problem too. Undivided AP had formed food safety committees in 2013 with joint collectors as heads.

Categories: NEWS
%d bloggers like this: