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KENYA:Cancer caused by fruits ripened by chemicals

November 2017 Standardmedia; You are likely to suffer from cancer of the liver and large intestines if you consume fruits ripened using chemicals, a specialist has said.

Prof Walter Mwanda, an oncologist from Kenyatta National Hospital, has warned of several cancers of the digestive system for those consuming fruits ripened using carbon carbide.

The warning follows a directive by the Ministry of Health cautioning on the use of the chemical mostly by traders.

Carbon carbide, as explained by Director of Public Health Kepha Ombacho, in a circular to county public health officers, is one of the unscrupulous ways used to speed up the ripening of fruits, especially bananas and mangoes.

Ombacho said the ministry had raised the issue earlier but it seems to be re-emerging. He directed all counties to stop artificial use of ripening agents immediately and ensure the proper practice of inspecting, examining,and controlling the harvesting and ripening and marketing fruits.

Referencing the circular, Mwanda said although the information is more rampant overseas, it has been noted that some cancers of the digestive system cannot be linked to any probable lifestyle causes.

In Kenya, however, there is no evidence yet to directly link artificially ripened fruits to cancer.

“Theoretically, philosophically, and scientifically it has shown that the chemical can cause cancer. So it is good we appreciate this information until more research tells us otherwise,” said Mwanda.


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