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Despite ban sale of artificially ripened fruits continues in JK
10/23/2018 10:18:43 PM
Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Oct 23: Three months after the ban, the sale of artificially-ripened fruits is going on unabated across the state.
The Food Safety Department banned sale and purchase of artificially-ripened fruits three months ago. The ban was announced following a series of videos circulated on social media by netizens showed the presence of fiber-like substances and insects inside fruits such as mangoes and watermelons imported to the state. Following the complaints, the Food Safety Department visited various markets and destroyed quintal of unhealthy fruits.
An official said most of these non-seasonal fruits here turn stale during transportation or due to rise in temperatures.
"We don't know when they have been packed and for how many days they have been stored here. So, we told the fruit dealers that every box shall have details about its packing, at least," he said. He said that ban also announced without any implementation on the ground. He said the dealers were directed not to sell the non- seasonal fruits even in the packed form. In the advisory, the department has warned the sellers to avoid artificial ripening of fruits. "The fruits shall be only ripened by virtue of scientific process in automatic chambers as is allowed under Food Safety and Standards Act and no wholesale dealer and fruit supplier shall ripen the fruit by harmful carcinogenic chemicals like calcium carbide and ethylene sachets," it reads. However, there are reports from across the state that there was no implementation of the ban on the ground.
"Artificially-ripened fruits are being sold across the state. there is no checking on the ground," Mehraj Ahmad, a local resident of Bemina said. He said that few days before he purchased the fruits and were found artificially ripened grapes and apple. "These fruits like watermelon, melon, grapes, apples, are injurious to the health," said a doctor at SMHS hospital Srinagar.
The doctor said that it was the responsibility of the Food Safety Department to keep a check on eatables. "These things also give birth to various diseases," he added.
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