With the advent of the Bengali month of Jyeshtha, commonly known as 'Modhumash', juicy and delectable fruits have started to hit the markets. Enjoying the deliciousness of the summer fruits is the part and parcel of the Bengali life and culture and people wait for long to devour them. Because of the timing of holy Ramadan in this season, the demand for these fruits has increased manifold. Devotees like to enjoy their taste as well as get the nutrients after the day-long fast.
Literally, the inflated demand of the fruits has activated the culprits who are used to taint fruits with harmful chemicals to attract consumers and thereby earn hefty profits. They try to allure consumers to buy the fruits before the time of their maturity almost every year. They do not hesitate to apply deadly chemicals to ripen fruits, make them bright and colourful and increase their shell life.Hardly any fruit is spared from tainting due to the adulterators' widespread greed. Many of them target mango which is the main seasonal cash crop and dominates the economy of the north-western region of Bangladesh. Though the local administration has fixed harvesting time for different varieties, many varieties of mangoes are available in stores ahead of their time. According to consumers, the test of the mangoes is sour and they spread bad flavour. Their outer look has been made attractive to deceive unaware consumers though.
Use of harmful chemicals to bag undue profits especially from fruits has reached alarming proportions in the country. Adulteration of other food items is also rampant. A few dozens of products identified as substandard are sill available in the market.
Contamination of fruits and other food items by unscrupulous businessmen and farmers has left consumers largely exposed to the hazard of taking of deadly chemicals which causes serious health complications including failure of vital organs.
Urgent steps are needed to seal off the sources of the harmful chemicals and to ensure strict punishment for the adulterators which can significantly restrict the unlawful activities of the dishonest persons.