Delhi HC for surprise check on veggie vendors

Updated: Mar 11, 2011, 00:00 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In what may not be a pleasant development for the health conscious people, reports on Thursday claimed that vegetables and fruits available in the Delhi wholesale market are contaminated with toxic chemicals capable of causing serious health disorders.

According to a report carried by a leading daily, the fresh produce being sold in various wholesale markets contains four banned pesticides laced with rat poison and insecticides in varying degrees.

The presence of these harmful chemicals in vegetable and fruits can cause cancer, vomiting, headaches, heart problems, infertility and can affect the liver and the nervous system of the body.

As per the report, the banned pesticides present in the fresh farm produce include chlordane, a rat poison that can affect the nervous system, endrin which can trigger headaches and dizziness and heptachlor, which damages the liver and reduces fertility if consumed in large amount.

In order to get a good harvest, the farmers in the country have started using pesticides, toxic colors and nerve-damaging harmones. All these banned substances are used by the farmers to trigger growth and improving colour.

As per report, most of the vegetables sold in the capital come from the Azadpur market, which is Asia’s biggest wholesale hub for vegetables and fruits with an annual turnover of Rs 600 crore.

In view of the above findings, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered a surprise check on the vendors, who were playing with people’s health by contaminating their produce with banned chemical substances just for profit.

As per the Delhi HC order, a team of six lawyers and two NGO representatives will go and buy vegetables and fruits from these markets, which will then be sent for lab-testing to detect the presence of contaminants.

The high court had asked the team to submit its report with five weeks.