Kerala not to allow fruit, vegetables with pesticides

The Kerala government is set to crack whip on the burgeoning supply of pesticide-sprayed vegetables and fruits from neighbouring states in the wake of recurring reports on large-scale presence of such vegetables and fruits in the market.

State Health Minister V S Sivakumar said on Monday that the decision was taken on the basis of findings by a team of experts who visited the fields and markets of  Tamil Nadu.

Food safety officials have been directed to ensure issuance of mandatory licences or documents of registration prescribed under food safety and quality standards to all vegetable and fruit traders in the state. The government is also proposing a ban, from July 15, on entry of vehicles transporting vegetables and fruits from other states without the mandatory documents. District food safety offices will organise registration drives from June 15 in an effort to cover all traders under the proposal.

Only vehicles with documents that declare the source and destination of the transported produce will be allowed entry to the state, Sivakumar said.

The government is also intensifying checks for excess monosodium glutamate content in food served in restaurants in the wake of controversy around alleged violation of food safety standards by instant noodle brand Maggi.

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