LAHORE: The use of calcium carbide for artificial ripping of fruits may cause cancer, intestine issues, loss of memory, insomnia and other life threatening diseases.

In view of these adverse effects, the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has decided to ban the use of harmful chemical ‘calcium carbide’ in the artificial ripening of fruits from Dec 10. Warning notices have already been issued to fruit farmers, cold storage houses and to traders of fruit markets. The authority will destroy such artificial ripen fruits found in markets, cold storage or farms after 10 Dec.

PFA Director General Noorul Amin Mengal said in a press release that according to the experts the use of calcium carbide for ripen of fruits produced acetylene gas that may cause life threatening diseases.

He said that around the globe for artificial ripening of fruits ethylene was used that diminished the risk of diseases. To ascertain a safer growth process, the matter has been referred the PFA scientific panel.

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2017