BACOLOD City Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez has a proposed an ordinance that prohibits the use of calcium carbide or "calburo” as fruit ripening agent.

He said that local and international scientific studies indicate that calcium carbide contains traces of arsenic and phosphorus making it a human health concern.

In his proposal, Lopez cited that Philippine Constitution’s Article II, Section 15 provides that “The state shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.”

It is a policy of the state to ensure food security and provide safety and quality standards for consumer products related to agriculture to assure the protection of the public against unreasonable risks of injury and hazards to health, it added.

Lopez also noted that in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines Section 15, every local government unit… “within their respective territorial jurisdictions, shall ensure and support, among other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health and safety, enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology, encourage and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant scientific and technological capabilities, improve public morals, enhance economic prosperity and social justice, promote full employment among their residents, maintain peace and order, and preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.”

Calcium carbide ripens fruit, particularly mangoes and bananas, artificially by producing acetylene when it gets in contact with moisture. It has carcinogenic properties, reports said. (CNC)