It is a common practice by many fruit merchants to use calcium carbide (CC), a potential cancer-causing chemical, for artificial ripening of fruits. In fact, it is a banned chemical. Even after cautioning not to use it, many are still using it unofficially to ripe mangoes and grapes. Recently, a local court in Hyderabad sentenced two wholesale fruit -vending merchants to four-year imprisonment along with Rs 10, 000 fine after getting confirmation from a lab of Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) about the presence of CC in grapes. They found violation Section 26(2)(1) of Food Safety Act of FSSAI. The judgement was given under section 59(1) of the same act. Some may be using this banned chemical even in the city. This judgement may open the eyes of wholesale merchants about the use of this banned chemical. They should shun using harmful chemicals like this in any form for ripening fruits.
Dr S V N Vijayendra, Mysuru