1,900kg of banned cal­cium car­bon­ate seized at APMC

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HTNAVIMUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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