Fruit-ripening agents used in Guyana are a health risk

Dear Editor,

I am very concerned about the indiscriminate use of fruit ripening agents in Guyana.  Apart from the fact that these fruits spoil very quickly, the health issues are unknown and one wonders what the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department is doing about this?

A visit to the markets on the East Coast would reveal that most fruits ‒ papaya, mangoes, pine are being ripened with chemicals.

An online search has highlighted the following concerns,  I hope that someone in the Ministry of Agriculture or the FDA would investigate and advise what actions are being taken to protect the citizens of this country.

Food safety and health security should be top concerns of any government for its citizens. But still, most of the fruit sellers use chemicals like calcium carbide for ripening the fruits. This chemical is extremely hazardous to the human body as it contains traces of arsenic and phosphorus. Although it is banned in many countries of the world, it is freely used in the Indian subcontinent. We are at a greater risk of short-term as well as long-term health effects simply by eating fruits that are artificially ripened.

Yours faithfully,

T Singh

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