Sale of health Hazardous Fruits

poison fruitWe are well into the Bengali month of Jaistha (first bengali month) which is described as a month of sweet delight because in this month many tropical fruits like mangoes, lichies, bananas, jackfruits, etc., are consumed with great relish by countrymen. But for the last several years, the month of sweet delight has been also posing as a health hazarding one for the unsuspecting lovers of fruits. Reportedly, for some years in succession, fruit traders have been engaging in the dangerous practice of spraying chemicals on fruits or even injecting the same on them to give these a premature ripe look to enhance their appeal to consumers . But such business motive can be fatal for those who consume such fruit because the chemicals used are known to be carcinogenic for human beings and even animals. They can cause cancer and other ailments.

Fruit sellers were known to do this last year or the year before. But such activities may take place this year also and hence the greater public concern about the same may also prevail. But sadly, the concern appears not to have led to any regulatory action on the part of the authorities.

It is unthinkable that official authorities who should be very concerned about the threat to public health on this score can remain so indifferent or uncaring. The news should have triggered a crackdown on such fruit sellers by now to eliminate their harming potential and to create disincentives for such action in the future. However, it is better to be late than never. Citizens would be one in expecting and demanding immediate action of the authorities in response to such hazardous and unethical behaviour on the part of fruit sellers.

By the way, mango and lichi are predominantly produced in Rajshahi and Dinajpur districts. These fruits before the construction of Jamuna bridge were aruged to be expensive in Dhaka because of transportation cost. But after Jamuna bridge went into commission the price of the above fruits have not reduced. It means monopoly and cartel have developed in the fruit business. To supply fruit to common people at a fair price government needs to look into this matter. And if monopoly and cartel are found in this trade government shall have to take corrective measures (The New Nation, June 4, 2003).

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