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HC notice to govt on fruit ripening with harmful chemicals


GUWAHATI, June 11 - Admitting a PIL seeking directions to the government to frame a policy to strictly prohibit wholesalers and street vendors from using harmful chemicals to ripen fruits, the Gauhati High Court today issued notices to the Central and State governments.

The PIL has been filed by advocate Bhaskar Baruah. In his PIL, Baruah expressed concern that use of harmful chemicals like calcium carbide for ripening fruits poses danger to the health of the consumers.

�This menace of artificial ripening of fruits has been going on in the city,� he said.

The petitioner has prayed for a direction to the Central and State governments to frame guidelines/policy to strictly prohibit the wholesalers and street vendors from subjecting fruits to chemical substances like calcium carbide for artificial ripening. He also sought a ban on loose sale of calcium carbide in the open market in Guwahati and other districts of Assam.

He also prayed that the Government of Assam directly make available natural fruits, free from calcium carbide through government retail outlets.

Under the Food Safety and Standards Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales Regulation, 2011 carbide is prohibited in artificial ripening of fruits. Chemical substance calcium carbide is also an inflammable substance under the Inflammable Substance Act, 1952.

�The State government has not imposed ban on use of calcium carbide,� Baruah said in the petition.

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