Lured by shining red tomatoes, apples and bright yellow mangoes? Think before you buy them. They may not be good for your health after all.
Concerned by a PIL that brought to its attention the rampant use of colours and hormone to improve the looks and size of vegetables, fruits and pulses being sold in Delhi’s markets, the Delhi High Court on Monday sought an explanation from the Delhi Government.
"Comprehensively, it is the duty of the state to look into such kind of matters. This matter relates to health of the general public which cannot be marginalised," a Bench headed by Chief Justice told Government counsel Najmi Waziri.
The government has been asked what steps it took to prevent such practices.
Lawyer Sugriva Dubey who filed the PIL submitted that though the rules under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act were notified in the year 2000, the adulteration was going on unabated.
Dubey alleged that the traders start polishing fruits and vegetables with artificial colours to make them appear fresh after their transportation to the markets here.
He said farmers were also using dangerous chemicals to expedite the growth of vegetables and fruits.
"The state is under obligation to prevent the sale of unhygienic fruits and vegetables besides pulses," said Dubey.
Quoting the Health Ministry, Dubey said a hormone oxytocin was being injected in pumpkin, watermelon, brinjal, gourd and cucumber plants to make them bear bigger fruits.
He said the drug can cause headaches, dizziness, confusion, seizures, heart disorders, sterility, nervous breakdowns and memory loss when taken over time.