The Telangana High Court on Thursday (July 16) directed the state to inform if ethylene gas, used as a catalyst to ripen fruits, is fit for human consumption.
The court also wanted the state to explain the difference between ethylene and ethephon.
For this, the HC impleaded the State Commissioner of Food Safety and the Chief Public Analyst of the State Food Laboratory as necessary parties to the case.
The bench also directed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to file a counter affidavit, informing if ethephon and ethylene gases can be used in ripening of fruits or not.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy passed this order in a batch of petitions filed by the traders of ethylene sachets. The traders have complained that police harassment has affected their business in the state.
During the course of hearing, the bench said that the authorities concerned have already declared that ethylene sachets are safe since they include natural hormones and act as catalysts to ripen the fruits. It said that even the central authorities have issued guidelines approving the use of ethylene to ripen fruits, hence the HC cannot say it is prohibited.
However, senior counsel S Niranjan Reddy, who is the amicus curiae in the case, in his report, has stated that ethephon, an insecticide, cannot be used for ripening.
– India Legal Bureau
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