Fruit Ripening - High court diects Center to form rule
Friends our PIL has been heard and Assam high court has directed Center (FSSAI) to make rules for fruit ripeners so people dont suffer from fruit ripener induced skin diseases, abdominal issues and cancer. Most state food controllers are basically in cahoots with the fruit vendors taking their haftas. This platform should do something that FSSAI and Food Controllers have to act to stop menace of carbide and ethylene sachet ripening. More details below. Friends the division bench of Justices Achintya Malla Bujorbarua and Nelson Sailo yesterday passed the order acting on a PIL filed in 2018 articulating concerns about artificial ripening of fruits such as banana, papaya and mango by using calcium carbide, a “highly toxic and highly inflammable” chemical substance. The court said: “...We require the authorities in the central government to frame appropriate rules for regulating the open availability of calcium carbide in the market and for the purpose, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and the ministry of petroleum and natural gas may coordinate amongst themselves for… framing the required rules.” The court also directed the Assam government to “monitor the activities” of senior food safety officers for compliance of its directions to check the artificial ripening of fruits. PIL said that such artificially ripened fruits were posing chronic health hazards like abdominal problem, skin diseases and cancer. Calcium carbide is used as a ripener in many other parts of the country too. The method of artificially ripening fruits had reached a “menacing proportion” and that it was now “difficult” to find fruits in the market that were not ripened artificially, the petitioner said. The court was of the view that a “more meaningful interpretation and implementation of the provisions” of the Food and Safety Standards Act, 2016, and the Calcium Carbide Rules, 1987, would be a “requirement” for effecting a “total eradication of the illegitimate procedure” adopted for the ripening of fruits using calcium carbide. It said guidelines were also needed to complement the efforts. The court order took note of certain studies by Baruah on the availability of the chemical in Assam. The study revealed that recognised and licenced industrial houses, which manufacture acetylene gas, may use calcium carbide in a regulated manner. However, calcium carbide was “abundantly available” in the open market and “any person” could procure it at any time because of the prolific use of the chemical in an unregulated manner in motor garages and workshops to generate acetylene gas. Calcium carbide is mainly used for producing acetylene and calcium cyanamide.