A team of officials seized five tonnes of mangoes from several mandis in Erode and Salem which were allegedly ripened in an artificial manner on Friday.
Some traders clandestinely used to ripen mangoes and bananas artificially using carbide stones.
But, in Friday’s case particularly, it was found that a pesticide called ethiron was used to ripen the mangoes.
On information, the FSSA enforcement officer Dr R S Ramesh, food inspectors Bubalan, Muthukrishnan, and Corporation health officer Dr Aruna visited the mandis at Kongalamman, Majid Street and Erode Nethaji Vegetable Market and seized the mangoes that were ripened artificially.
“Around 3 tonnes of mangoes were seized and sent to the corporation compost yard at Vendipalayam to be destroyed. The residue of the pesticide sprayed on the mangoes would cause digestion and other problems to consumers,” Dr Ramesh said.
“Earlier traders used to put carbide stones, wrapped in papers among the loads of fruits to ripen them. After this technique got exposed, traders started using pesticide,” said Officials.
“Health officials will continue their raids on mango mandis and take necessary action on traders who resort to such techniques. If they continue to violate the norms, stern action will be taken against them.”
A similar raid was conducted in Salem by two teams of the Department of Food Safety and Drug Administration on thirty mandis, and two tonnes of artificially ripened mangoes were seized.
Officials said, before the beginning of the season, traders were sensitized, in three meetings, about the harmful effect on humans, caused by artificial ripening of fruits. Yet the traders were violating, said officials of the Food Safety and Drug Administration Department.