Visakhapatnam: Officials of the vigilance and enforcement in association with food safety officials raided a fruits godown and seized four tonnes of artificially ripened papayas at Seethampeta area in Vizag city. The team, led by DSP C.M. Naidu, conducted the raids following repeated complaints from the public that many traders in the city were using chemicals to ripen papayas and bananas, turning the fruits hazardous.
Mr Naidu said the accused, K. Srinivasa Rao, is running a six-tonne godown. For the past few years he has been supplying artificial ripening pa-payas to outlets in the city. “Our raids revealed that Srinivasa Rao has been using Ethephone, an insecticide, to ripen papa-yas,” said food inspector S. Janardhana Rao. “Eating fruits, which are artificially ripened, will put the consumer at risk with mouth ulcers, gastric problems and rashes,” he added. “We have seized the god-own and registered a case against Srinivasa Rao un-der the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. We have collected the samples and will send them to the laboratory in Hydera-bad and will file a charge-sheet against Srinivasa Rao later,” said the DSP.