The food industry uses more than 4000 chemicals nobody knows exactly what is going on there. Another 3000 chemicals are used as pesticides and other poisons in the agricultural sector. There are chemicals which are used to keep the vegetables fresh and to make the fruits ripe quickly.

We can avoid processed foods and thus the chemicals from the food processing industry. Almost all our fresh foods contain pesticides and other chemicals used in the agriculture. There are reference values are there for around 600 pesticides and other poisons in fruits and vegetables. In developed countries samples are taken from the shops regularly and analyzed for these poisons. Two to three percent have more pesticides than the reference levels in all countries. But, these vegetables or fruits are not taken away from the market. Normally these values never reach the public.

Now and then Green Peace analyzes the levels of pesticides and other poisons from our fresh food and these values are published in the news paper with its critical comments.

Vegetables, fruits and grains from the polluted river basins can have many more chemicals and poisonous heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead. These are the most dangerous food for our health.

Ethylene is a plant hormone and has many functions in the life cycle of a plant. One of its important functions is to make the raw fruits to ripe. Right temperature and ethylene are used to make the bananas ripe quickly. It is used for ripening of several fruits and tomatoes.

Calcium carbide is used to ripe mangoes and other fruits quickly. The use of calcium carbide is not healthy. It can cause serious damage to eyes, skin and lungs. There can be irritation in mouth, throat and if inhales can cause cough and wheeze. It can cause reproductive problems in men and is one more risk factor for cancer.

Oxytocin is a hormone present in our body. It is injected to grow the vegetables quick and big and to keep them fresh. It is also used to boost milk yield. It plays an important role in women trafficking and prostitution as this is used to bring the young girls early to puberty in some countries. They are prepared for the sex-worker jobs. It is also used in illegal abortion.

Oxytocin is mainly injected in bottle gourds, bitter gourds, pumpkins, spinach etc. With it fresh and green look these attract the customer to buy. It is said that in North India, particularly around New Delhi it is practised.

Oxytocin is also a medicine to induce childbirth. All medicines can cause side effects. The side effects of oxytocin include:

• More intense or abrupt contractions of the uterus
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Severe allergic reactions like rash, hives, itching, difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue
• Changes in heart rate
• Irregular heart beat
• Bleeding after childbirth
• Pooling of blood in the pelvis
• Ruptured uterus
• Fetus can be affected

There are laws to regulate the use of these chemicals in many countries. Black market and corrupted officials make it possible to get these chemicals or hormones easily available and nobody talks about this evil.

Around 90% of the food market in India is unorganized and so it is difficult to regulate. Contamination from various sources is a severe problem in India although we have very good laws. But enforcement is a big problem even now.

I think well informed consumers can only change this situation. Avoid vegetables or fruits or other foods with make-up.

If there are any health troubles after your food consumption it is better to go to the doctor immediately.

If autopsy is made with every dead body each one may give us a story, surely a horrible story.