The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) confiscated 75,000 kilograms of several varieties of fruits worth about Rs.10 million from traders at the Manning Market, Cooperatives and Internal Trade Ministry said today. It said the fruit had been artificially ripened with the use of Ethephone.
“The chemical Ethaphone is known to be used when artificially ripening fruits but it should be used in a methodical manner and is a long procedure. It should be mixed with water and Calcium Carbonate before use. But the vendors had sprayed the chemical directly on fruits. This is unhealthy,” Ministry spokesman Nipun Ekanayake said.
He said Mangos, Bananas and Papaws were among the fruits that were confiscated fruit.
“The raid was carried out on a complaint received by consumers. We went to the Manning Market the day before the raid and saw how the vendors were misusing the chemical,” he said.
Minister Johnston Fernando had instructed the CAA Chairman to carry out raids regularly so as to nab errant vendors who sell food items which were unsuitable for human consumption specially during the festive season. (Lahiru Pothmulla)