Litchi treated chemically floods Rajshahi marketsSM Atik . Rajshahi
Summer fruit litchi, ripened with harmful chemical carbide, has flooded the markets in Rajshahi, posing a serious threat to the consumers’ health, according to locals.
Local people blamed lax monitoring of the authorities for such prevalence of chemically treated lichi in the markets.
Some traders were selling these litchis alluring ordinary consumers, local people said, expressing worry about the bad effect these fruits would have on their health.
Subrata Das, a college teacher buying litchi from a makeshift shop in front of Rajshahi Press Club Tuesday noon, told New Age that he was buying litchi for his children amid a fear that fruit might have been ripened with chemicals.
Joynal Abedin, a fruit trader at Shaheb Bazar, said, ‘We use medicine for ripening litchi, mangoes, bananas and papaya and the fruits get a nice yellow colour after being treated with the chemicals.’
When asked the name of the medicine, he said, ‘I am not sure about the name, but it works like magic and it is available in every pharmacy in the city markets.’
Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution, the regulatory body which monitors quality of foods, however, emphasised creating mass awareness of health hazards posed by the chemically-treated fruits.
‘Drive against dishonest traders is simply a regulatory function. We conduct drives twice a week against such malpractice,’ BSTI deputy director in Rajshahi Rezaul Islam told New Age.
Mentioning workforce limitation, he also said, ‘We do not even get sufficient magistrate in time to conduct drives.’
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