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Kerala to ban vegetables, fruits with high pesticide

Last updated on: June 10, 2015 11:46 IST

Registration of vehicles carrying vegetables, fruits mandatory from July 15.

The Kerala government has decided to enforce a ban on vegetables and fruits with high levels of pesticide residue in them. 

The decision comes in the wake of reports indicating widespread entry of pesticide-sprayed vegetables and fruits in the local markets. 

State health minister VS Shivakumar today said vegetables coming from other states would be banned if they were found to have pesticide residues above the permissible limit.

The potential ban would include the sources of supply and the originating markets, he added.

The minister has also directed government laboratories in the state to test all energy drink brands in the wake of reported contamination.

He said vehicles carrying vegetables would not be cleared at checkposts without proper disclosures revealing the source and the originating market. 

In a meeting here with food and civil supplies minister Anoop Jacob and other senior department officials of food and safety and civil supplies, the minister said the state government would take steps to ensure speedy disposal of pending cases relating to adulteration.

The health secretary has been entrusted to take steps in this regard after consulting the Kerala high court registrar general. 

He said chief minister Oommen Chandy would review the report of state officials who had visited vegetable and fruit farms in the neighbouring states.     

Besides banning vegetables having high pesticide levels, the state has also made it mandatory for vegetable and fruit traders from other states to register or get a licence. The state has allowed them to complete the registration in a month’s time. 

Vehicles carrying fruits and vegetables from other states will have to register as per the food safety and quality Act, which has been made mandatory now, said Shivakumar, adding, all vehicles will have to obtain registration by July 15.

The food safety department would launch a special drive to issue registration. Special squads would be deployed to conduct periodical checks at vegetable and fruits retail outlets. 

Kerala sources huge quantities of vegetables and fruits from the adjoining Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

BS Reporter in Kochi
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