India: €6,500 fine or jail if Mumbai mango sellers artificially ripen fruit
they may either be fined Rs 5 lakh or will be arrested, the Food and Drug Administration has warned.
This comes after the FDA conducted raids on Vashi APMC market on May 1, where they seized mangoes that were being forcibly ripened with toxic chemicals.
FDA officials said they are keeping a close watch on mango sellers.
A fine of Rs 5 lakh will be levied on a seller or/and jail for up to six months for those indulging in this practice, said Dr Pallavi Darade, FDA Commissioner.
Shailesh Adhav, joint commissioner FDA (food), said there are a few sellers who are using injections and chemicals to ripen mangoes artificially.
FDA has received complaints from consumers who got sick after eating artificially ripened mangoes.
We received a tip-off about the sale of mangoes ripened with toxic chemicals.
Around 109 dozen mangoes were tested for the presence of toxic chemicals, said Adhav.
Last year, we took eight samples of ‘suspect’ mangoes but failed to find any harmful ones.
So far this year, we have not yet found any mangoes which have been chemically ripened, Adhav explained.
In Maharashtra and Mumbai, the demand for mangoes is high.
According to doctors, citizens should put their health first and be cautious while purchasing their favourite fruit.
They warn that mangoes that have been hastily ripened using toxic chemicals can cause dizziness, headache, skin burn, allergy, vomiting, and diarrhoea, to name just a few consequences.
Health experts say a chemically treated mango can irritate the stomach lining and upset digestion, apart from biochemical reactions like rashes, diarrhoea, and abdominal distention.
Citizens can take precautions by putting the mangoes in lime water for one to two hours before use.
The intensity of medical reaction differs from person to person, depending upon their immunity.
The calcium carbide used to ripen mangoes can cause abdominal pain, dizziness and vertigo to name just a few effects.
Long-tern consumption of mangoes ripened thus can also cause loss of memory, said experts. ■