Tuesday June 06, 2023

Citizens demand action against fruit traders

March 24, 2023

Rawalpindi: Fruit traders according to media reports have been engaging in a dangerous practice of spraying chemicals on fruits or even injecting the same to give fruits a premature ripe look and thus enhance their appeal to consumers.

“However, such trade especially in the ongoing month of Ramazan can be lethal for Rozadars who eat fruits because the chemicals used are known to be harmful. They can cause cancer and other ailments,” says Hasan Nisar. “The month of March is about to end. Summer fruits are arriving in the markets. It needs ensuring that these fruits like in recent years would not undergo artificial ripening with the use of chemicals hazardous to human health,” adds Hasan. “The concerned departments of the government have been occasionally visiting food shops and imposing fines on unsafe food caterers and food producers of different kinds. However, their activities did not extend effectively to fruit processors and sellers and this is a serious oversight on their part because hazardous ripening of fruits poses serious threats to public health,” says Dr. Haider Abbas.

“It is unthinkable that official authorities who should be concerned about the threat to public health on this score can remain indifferent to the practice or be uncaring. They must immediately engage in testing all kinds of packaged consumer products to determine their standard or safety and certify those accordingly,” says Mohib Ali. “The news about artificial ripening of fruits by the use of hazardous chemicals should have led to a crackdown on such fruit processors and sellers by now to eliminate their potential to do harm and to create disincentives for such activities,” adds Mohib.

“I think it is better late than never. We are keen for the authorities to respond in a tough manner to such hazardous and unethical behaviour on the part of fruit sellers,” says Arif Alvi.

“This expectation should be greater now in the holy month of Ramadan. The authorities need to take tough action where people’s interests are involved such as in the areas of protecting their health from this very serious threat,” says Mohsin Reza.

“Fruits are under the jurisdiction of the district administrations, municipalities, and city corporations. They clearly have the powers to make the distributors of fruits open their shops for testing of samples,” says Mishaal Hussain.

“If the city authorities do this in relation to a number of large fruit sellers, then others would get the message and take steps on their own to stop this dangerous practice out of anticipation of facing punitive measures for doing otherwise,” adds Mishaal.

Zulfiqar Ali says, “The district administrations and the municipal authorities need to turn their attention to the dangerous practice of fruit ripening to help protect the health of people who without any suspicion buy fruits from markets.”