Refusing to be stymied by the ban on the use of calcium carbide for artificially ripening fruit, some unscrupulous vendors are now boldly importing ripeners from China and Italy.

Vendors at the Nunna and Kadareswarapet markets here have been putting the lives of customers at risk by using chemical ripeners from abroad. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) authorities found boxes containing an Ethiopian plant hormone solution, ethylene powder and hand sprayers at the Nunna market. China and Italy were both printed on the containers, indicating that the supplies came from these countries.

Artificial ripeners can cause cardiac problems and even cancer.

A Srinivasa Rao, food safety officer said the seized chemical solution and powder were being used for ripening bananas and mangoes.


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