Odisha government on Tuesday ordered laboratory test of litchi fruit being sold in the markets in the state.
The government’s action came following reports that litchi consumption was one of the factors behind the spread of AES. Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district was one of the litchi growing areas in the state where over 100 children had died so far due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES).
The direction for laboratory test of litchi was issued by state Health and Family Welfare minister Naba Das.
“The minister has asked the Food Safety Commissioner to collect and test samples of litchi being sold in the market,” an official at the minister’s office said.
The minister has further directed that the litchi collected from market should undergo laboratory test to ascertain the toxic content keeping in view its negative impact on human health.
In 2016 tribal dominated Malkangiri district of Odisha had reported 90 children death due to AES, Health department sources said.