The news about the High Court verdict on the use of harmful chemicals in mangoes is a welcome one. According to a news report published in the newspspers on April 09, 2019, the High Court directed the government to immediately deploy police at mango gardens in Rajshahi and other major harvesting areas to prevent use of toxic chemicals in mangoes. The court also ordered the authorities concerned to monitor the warehouses of mangoes and other fruits in Dhaka through surveillance teams so that harmful chemicals cannot be used in fruits.
The inspector general of police, director general of Rapid Action and Bangladesh Standard Testing Institute chairman have been asked to submit a report before the court after complying with the directives in 30 days. The report further said that the High Court bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahsan and Justice K M Kamrul Kader came up with the order following a petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).
During hearing the petition, HRPB’s lawyer Advocate Manzill Murshid told the court that following a writ petition, the High Court on February 29, 2012 had issued several directives on the government to stop use of hazardous chemicals in fruits and to take action against the people responsible for using the chemicals.
Previously too the High Court issued directives to a number of authorities to eliminate fruit chemicals. Unscrupulous traders apply toxic chemicals on fruits. It has been repoted that formalin with fish, brick powder with chillies powder and lubricant or artificial colour for frying chanachur is mixed. Carbide is used to ripen fruits prematurely and formalin for a longer shelf-life. Unscrupulous traders are engaged in ripening seasonal fruits by using poisonous chemicals whichare hazardous for health.
K M Abul Hasnat