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Clarify on chemicals for ripening of fruits: Gujarat High Court

It also sought information on the mechanism available to follow and implement the guidelines issued by FSSAI

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Use of chemicals for ripening of fruits is considered threat to human health
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The Gujarat High Court has sought information from the state government on what steps has been taken by it to contain the rampant use of dangerous chemicals for ripening of fruits, which is considered a major threat to human health. The information was sought in a suo-motu public interest litigation (PIL) by the division bench of Acting Chief Justice AS Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav, with the court directing the government to file its response within March 28.

During the hearing of the PIL, it was informed to the court that the assistant director of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had written to all the food safety commissioners of states and union territories on August 16, 2018, providing the guidelines for artificial ripening of fruits, particularly of ethylene gas and safety measures to be followed for the same.

Following the submission, the division bench ordered the counsel to provide details of steps taken by the state's food safety commissioner pursuant to the communication from FSSAI. It also sought information on the mechanism available to follow and implement the guidelines issued by FSSAI.

Earlier, the court had ordered the state government to take all possible measures to prevent the use of chemicals such as ethylene, calcium carbide, and other chemical substances, for the purpose of ripening of mangoes and other fruits. The court had ordered civic bodies as well to prevent the use of these chemicals by fruit sellers and wholesalers.

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