The food authority has ordered for monitoring the sale of fresh fruits and vegetables in the markets, as media reports have surfaced about these commodities having pesticides and harmful chemicals in high doses.

The FSSAI has written to all the Food Safety Commissioners in the country referring to the various media reports regarding vegetables and fruits having pesticides and harmful chemicals in high doses, being sold in major cities across India.

Further NHRC has also taken suo-moto cognisance of the issues relating to excess use of pesticides by the farmers and has directed for taking measures to minimise pesticide risk and promotion of alternative systems directed of cultivation.

The order reads, “In order to curb the menace of excess use of pesticides during pre-marketing treatment of fruits and vegetables with the pesticides, it is requested to keep strict vigil in your respective State/UT on such Food Business Operators (FBOs) who are involved in the manufacturing/repacking fresh/surface-treated/minimally processed fruits and vegetables.”

The FSSAI has also asked to employ measures like surveillance/ enforcement and awareness activities to ensure that the fresh fruit, vegetables comply with the provisions of FSS –Contaminants, Toxins and Residues – Regulations.

“In addition, awareness building measures through information, education, communication activities under Eat Right initiative may be conducted in fruit and vegetable markets/mandis to educate consumers and food businesses about the issues,” the order further reads.