A formalin-checking operation by a joint team of BSTI and mobile courts launched on Saturday at Mohammadpur Town Hall Market met with stiff resistance from the traders. With the apex trade body, FBCCI, and some banks having supplied toxin detection kits to the city's 11 kitchen markets, the checking at Mohammadpur market was only to be expected. The news had been doing rounds that none of the markets was using the appliance. They were merrily going around with the business as usual.
On top of it, like hoodlums, they were claiming a right to free use of poisonous chemicals in perishable edibles including fruits. That they are playing a dangerous game with the lives of citizens including stunting the growth of future generations does not even occur to them. Their profiteering motives completely blindfolded them to any need for social commitment even as traders.
For all the outcries from civic rights bodies and the media and even High Court directives to stop use of chemical toxins as preservatives and ripening agents, the menace has been growing unabatedly.
Checking at the retail level will not clearly be enough by itself. The whole supply chain from the producers and importers through wholesalers to retailers will have to be flushed clean of the impunity culture indulged in by the traders. Simultaneously, a consumer resistance campaign will have to be launched and sustained for a turn-around in the situation.