1,900kg of banned calcium carbonate seized at APMC
The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), Thane raided the APMC fruit market on Tuesday and seized a whopping 1,900kg of calcium carbonate.
According to the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act 1954, and the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955 there is a ban on the artificial ripening including the use of calcium carbonate.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) city chief Gajanan Kale had received information of the contraband being stocked in a large quantity in the market.
He then informed the FDA about it, following which the raid was conducted around 8pm.
The raid was conducted at a godown located near Kulswami bank in the fruit market.
The huge quantity of the contraband found in the godown shocked even the FDA officials.
FDA official BR Chavan said, “The godown that belongs to Vijay Chorat had the substance stocked in 300 drums. Some of it was packed in plastic bags, each weighing 100kg. There were also 200 bags of 1kg each.
“While calcium carbonate ripens the fruits early, it is actually poison which can cause serious harm to the human body. That is the reason it is banned by the state government,” said Chavan.
He added, “Sadly, some traders care little for people’s lives. They are only interested in ensuring that the raw fruit ripens fast so that they get their money through sale to the retailers at the earliest.”
According to an APMC trader, the use of the banned substance is rampant in the wholesale fruit market.
Its use is maximum during the alphonso season, as there is limited time available to the traders and they want to make the most of it.
He added, “It is not possible or feasible for most traders to wait for long durations for the alphonsos to ripen naturally. There is huge money at stake.”
“Despite the government saying that it is harmful, there is a general belief amongst the traders that it is not so, ” added the trader.
The trader said that after all, people have been consuming such artificially ripened fruits for years and nothing has happened to them.