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Ethephon safe to use on plants, fruits

Update: December, 30/2015 - 09:34
Ethephon, a substance used to speed up ripening of fruits, does not harm humans, delegates told a seminar held in HCM City on Monday. — Photo baogiaothong.vn

HCM CITY (VNS) — Ethephon, a substance used to speed up ripening of fruits, does not harm humans, delegates told a seminar held in HCM City on Monday.

Recently the media had been reporting that the substance, used by fruit farmers and traders to soak fruits like banana, jackfruit, papaya, durian to ripen them quickly, was harmful to humans, Dr Tran Hanh Phuc of the Institute of Agro-Biology told the seminar held by the Viet Nam Agricultural Enterprises and Farm Association and the Business Association of High-Quality Vietnamese Goods.

"Ethephone is not poisonous."

Twenty years ago the Government got technology from Russia for trial ethephon production and usage, she said.

It has yielded great benefit to the agricultural sector since farmers can also use it to grow many crops out of season through early maturity.

It has helped the rubber industry increase productivity, she said.

Dr Nguyen Quang Thach, head of the Institute for Agro-Biology's Science Council, said, "Ethephon is widely used in many countries both during and after harvest to initiate simultaneous ripening of fruits, making it easy to use post-harvest technology."

Ethephone used on a plant is converted quickly to ethylene, a regulator of plant growth and ripeness, he said.

Nguyen Lam Vien, Vinamit chairman, agreed with Thach, saying modern agriculture cannot be developed without bio-technology.

But Thach and the others warned farmers to strictly follow instructions for using the substance and ensure its clear origin. — VNS

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