Nagaland | Traces of carbide found in mangoes sold in the state

DIMAPUR, July 21, 2018: Following the discovery of formalin-injected fish supply in the state recently, a Food Safety on Wheels team in collaboration with Dimapur Municipal Council, Food Safety Officer, Dimapur and Naga Council Dimapur on Friday found traces of carcinogenic ripening agent carbide in mango samples after they carried out an on-the-spot testing at three wholesale fruit outlets of Dimapur.
The samples were taken from the wholesale fruit shops located at Naga Bazaar/Murgi Patti Dimapur, the main wholesale centre from where fruits and vegetables are distributed to retailers to most parts of the state. The sampling was carried out in pursuance of a directive issued by Chief Medical Officer cum designated officer (FSSA) Dimapur, Dr K Vikato Kinimi.
However, the authorities were yet to contemplate the further course of action, which may include seizure and disposal of fruits.
It is worth mentioning that this news comes even as the formalin saga that began barely a month ago was still doing the rounds. Vegetable samples were also collected for analysis at Kohima by the mobile laboratory.
There were around 200 cartoons/crates of mangoes at the three wholesale shops out of which samples were randomly picked to check for presence of carbide.
The mobile lab team reached Dimapur at around 7 a.m. Friday, after which, three food technicians from the State Public Health Laboratory– Bendangsenla, Vizolenuo and T Ayangba accompanied by officials from  DMC, Dr Sentinungla and Dr Sentimoa Longkumer; NCD vice president (adm), K Ghokheto Chophy; and Food Safety Officer, Sendongkaba Jamir, visited the fruit wholesale centre and various vegetable shops at Naga Bazaar/Murgi Patti for spot sampling.
The fruits samples tested on the spot were mangoes, apples, pomegranate, citrus limetta popularly known as mosambi, bananas, water melon, and oranges.
The vegetable samples collected for analysis were green chillies, bitter gourd, small and big varieties of brinjal, two types of water gourd (known as lao locally), snake gourd, cabbage, lady finger, cucumber, tomato, potato, onion, oyster mushrooms, fresh catla fish, chilly powder, dried prawn and fish.
While the seven different fruits samples were tested on the spot by placing 'Watts Circle Paper' on them, vegetable samples will further be analyzed at the State Public Health Laboratory at Kohima. The team also visited New Market to test for the presence of carbide on bananas but were not able to collect sample from godowns. They were however able to collect dry fish and oyster mushrooms.
Though the tests were carried out with the help of 'Watts Circle Paper', the results however will only be confirmed after further tests in the lab. It is also worth mentioning that according to medical studies, toxic effects of exposure to carbide may include kidney disease, asthma, anemia, emphysema, and hard metal lung disease with reduced lung function.
DMC officials and the food safety officials also took down information of where wholesalers get different fruits and vegetables from.
Dimapur imports its mangoes from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
TNT News with The Nagaland Post inputs
Image Courtesy: The Nagaland Post