The Union health ministry has stepped in to resolve the issue of many vendors using chemicals to artificially ripen fruit.
In new rules issued by the ministry, vendors who indulge in such acts will be hit with a sentence of up to six months in jail and fine of Rs 1,000.
"Use of such harmful chemicals to ripen fruits faster can cause cancer. Unfortunately, no checking or monitoring is presently done. A study is immediately required to see how common its use is and what are its effects on human health," minister of state for health Dinesh Trivedi told the Times of India.
It has also emerged that a circular to this effect has been sent to all state food authorities. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has also said that states must take legal action against vendors under the Rule 44 AA of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955.
Vendors use chemicals like calcium carbide to ripen mangoes, bananas, papayas, apples and plums artificially. Such chemicals harm health and hence the center has now taken action.