|Early Times Report |
jammu, May 18: Amid rise in use of artificial ripening agents for fruits in J&K, the state, particularly Jammu region is sitting on a "time bomb" of serious health hazards that may hit the consumers through ailments like cancer, experts have cautioned.
Time and again the government has been apprised by experts that the state, particularly Jammu province, where fruit consumption in high, is highly vulnerable to ailments like cancer due to rise in use of artificial ripening agents. Cancer cases have already been on rise in the region.
Sources said around 1200-1600 quintal of mangoes and 100-150 quintal of papaya are imported to Jammu every day from outside state. These fruits, largely popular among the Jammuites, are ripened with calcium carbide and other similar chemicals.
"We all are sitting on a volcano which might burst with a bang and swallow our generations. J&K people are in danger because of use of calcium carbide for artificial ripening of fruits like mangoes and papaya by food traders in F&V markets like Samba, Udhampur, Parimpora, Narwal," said a senior official who has gone through the expert reports.
The official pleading anonymity said though calcium carbide, being carcinogenic, is banned in most of the countries including India, it continues to be rampantly used in J&K.
Sources alleged that
"some of the staffers of the J&K Food Commissioner, which has greater responsibility to check all food items including fruit and vegetables for any impermissible banned toxic chemical residues, are hand in gloves with fruit traders, who purchase raw mangoes and papaya in bulk quantity from outside the state and then ripen these fruits using mostly calcium carbide or Chinese masala."
Please stop it..
As of now symbolic drives are held to inspect and destroy fruit ripened with deadly chemicals. The point is why are such carcinogenic used again and again? Why can't government stop it?
Suggesting remedial measures, the experts said it should be mandatory for all fruit traders in the state, who store raw fruit, to have modern ripening chambers like the ones used for ripening of bananas.
"The fruit and vegetables arriving in bulk from Punjab in this state need to be checked regularly by J&K Food Commissioner for impermissible chemical residues at Lakhanpur before entering the fruit and vegetable markets. But, presently there is no such arrangement," said an expert.
A senior official while commenting over the issue said the given the rise in cancer cases in J&K, the government must initiate an impartial probe so that the "muck in the system is exposed and remedial measures are duly undertaken to prevent people from consuming carcinogenic fruits."
"As of now symbolic drives are held to inspect and destroy fruit ripened with deadly chemicals. The point is why are such carcinogenic used again and again? Why can't government stop it?"