Meeting to Curb Carbide Menace

HYDERABAD: With the High Court taking a serious view of the use of carcinogenic calcium carbide to ripen fruits and even calling such traders “worse than terrorists,” the state government has woken up to the menace. Determined to contain the use of dangerous ripening agents, Marketing minister T Harish Rao has convened a meeting of officials concerned on August 25 to chalk out a strategy to contain the menace that is posing hazard to public health.

As a prelude to the review meeting on August 25, Agriculture secretary C Parthasarathi held a discussion with officials from the departments of Marketing, Agriculture and Health officials.

“Though the Gaddi Annaram market in the city is notorious for the use of chemicals to ripen fruits, there are several other traders across the State. But, it is not the duty of the departments of Agriculture and Marketing to control them. The food inspectors in the districts have to conduct raids,” official sources said. But, with only two food inspectors in each district, the department is struggling to keep a tab on adulteration.

It has been decided to invite Health secretary and IPM director to the review meeting on August 25 to chalk out a plan to control the menace. Right now, the Marketing department has no statistics on how many traders in the State are using chemicals to ripen fruits and where they were located.

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The New Indian Express