Using chemicals like calcium carbide to ripen mangoes is like poisoning somebody & liable for jail term: Delhi HC
New Delhi, Feb 14 (KNN) The Delhi High Court has observed that using chemicals like calcium carbide to ripen mangoes is like poisoning somebody and said the people indulged in such things are liable for jail term.
“Using chemicals like calcium carbide to ripen mangoes is like poisoning somebody. Why should the Indian Penal Code be not invoked against them? Send such persons to jail, even if for 2 days and it would have a deterrent effect,” a Bench of Justices GS Sistani and AJ Bhambani said while hearing a PIL initiated by the court to monitor use of pesticides on fruits and vegetables.
Talking to KNN India, Sagar Kurade, former President of All India Food Processors Association (AIFPA) said, “There are many methods to ripen fruits. It is FSSAI’s job to check any misuse of harmful chemicals to artificially ripen them.”
At the end of the day, it is a fast decision in terms of stopping those who use chemicals to ripen fruits. This decision will to stop using of chemicals in food items, Kurade said.
The bench has asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) whether calcium carbide was still being used to ripen fruits like mangoes, and sought the presence of its Chief Executive Officer to assist it on the next date of hearing.
The court also asked the Ministry of Agriculture as to whether any kit was available for consumers to themselves test for calcium carbide in their homes. The ministry said no such kit was available as the presence of calcium carbide can only be tested in laboratories with the help of proper equipment and additional chemicals.
According to a media report, the Delhi government, represented by its additional standing counsel Naushad Ahmed Khan, told the court that it has been picking up samples from markets in the national capital for testing and also carrying out awareness drives. It also told the court that some of the samples were tested and no chemicals were found and the results of other samples were awaited.
Meanwhile, the court is also hearing two other pleas by private individuals seeking directions to the authorities to curb the use of pesticides and other chemicals on food products, especially the agricultural produce, coming into the national capital.