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20 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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No respite from ‘chemically-ripened’ mangoes

STAFF REPORTER
No respite from ‘chemically-ripened’ mangoes
Tonnes of mangoes ripened chemically lie dumped at a fruit depot at Mirpur-1 in the capital during a drive yesterday. Focus Bangla Photo

Despite prohibition against the sale of mangoes before maturity, a section of unscrupulous traders have flooded the markets with what is called ‘ripened’ mangos. Such green mangoes are ripened by using various chemicals like ethophane and calcium carbide, posing serious health hazards.

Considering the consequences, experts and law enforcing agencies have advised consumers not to buy such mangoes and wait another 15 days to buy the fruit.

Meanwhile, the law enforcing agencies, BSTI, DNCC and other related organisations have started operations against unscrupulous traders selling chemically ‘ripened’ mangoes.

Against this backdrop, the members of RAB-4, led by its executive magistrate Sarwar Alam, conducted a mobile court in the city’s Mirpur-01 area.

The mobile court seized around 1,100 maunds of immature ‘ripened’ mangoes from wholesale markets at Hazrat Shah Ali Mazar and Diabari areas.

 The officials of Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute (BSTI) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) helped the RAB team to conduct the drive. A mobile court seized the chemical-laced mangoes from 14 enterprises at Mirpur-01 area and six persons were given jail terms for different periods.

Later, the seized mangoes were destroyed with the help of the DNCC employees at Diabari’s Balurmath. “At least more 10-15 days will be needed for the mangoes to mature. But a section of unscrupulous people are involved in ripening mangoes using hazardous chemical spray like ethophane or calcium carbide,” Sarwar Alam told reporters during the drive. Such chemicals are very harmful to humans, he said, adding that they might cause diarrhoea and allergic problem after the consumption of such chemically treated mangoes.

“Totally green mangoes change colour after being sprayed, turning yellow externally. But internally, its green,” the magistrate said.

The six persons, who were given jail terms of different durations (highest one year) were identified as

Faisal Ahmed, 25, Md Nurul, 73, Md Tabarul, 26,

Md Ramjan Ali, 29, Md Abdus Sobhan, 42 and Monirul Islam, 55.

RAB-4 company commander Major Syfuddin and BSTI field officer Sharif Hossain were present while the mobile court was being held.

Earlier, on May 17, the RAB personnel and BSTI jointly conducted a mobile court in Jatrabari areas and seized 1,000 maunds of chemically ripened mangoes from the city’s Jatrabari area. Besides, they also seized 40 maunds of date-expired dates. Later, the seized mangoes and dates were destroyed.

On May 3, the Benapole market committee destroyed 70 crates of chemically ripened mangoes because of the health hazards they posed.

Appreciating the department concerned for conducting drives against unscrupulous traders, Poribesh Bachao Andolan (POBA) chairman Abu Naser Khan said, “It would help consumers to create awareness. The local administrations need to strengthen their monitoring system to stop such illegal activities before marketing chemically ripened fruits like mangoes.”

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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