New Delhi: Oxytocin, the hormone much in
the news recently for being used to ripen fruits and
vegetables, might not after all have any such effect on food
A study by the Punjab Agricultural University on the
effect of oxytocin on the yield and quality of bottle gourd
revealed that the number of vegetables and their weight was
unaltered with the injection of the hormone.
It had no effect on crop yield, according to a written
reply submitted in the Rajya Sabha by the Health Ministry.
In addition, the study conducted in 2008-2009, shows
that oxytocin injection does not influence the quality of the
fruits as the dry matter, protein, carbohydrates and fat
contents were similar by those of the non-injected plants.
The reply further said that the Government has made it
mandatory to market oxytocin injection in single unit blister
packs only. Instructions have been issued by the Drug
Controller General of India to all state drug controllers to
regulate and monitor manufacture and distribution of oxytocin.
Interestingly, the reply was by made by Minister of
State for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Trivedi, who had
himself raised the issue of the safety of the hormone.
Trivedi had written a letter to Health Secretary
Sujatha Rao urging the ministry to take immediate action
against the indiscriminate use of the harmful Oxytocin by
According to medical practitioners and other health
experts, the most difficult part is identifying any fruit or
vegetable which has been grown with the help of oxytocin and
not in the natural manner.