Press Esc to close
Monday 23 January 2017
News updated at 8:14 PM IST
Weather
Max: 30.3°C
Min : 16.8°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Gutka ban: SC order awaited

Last updated: 02 September, 2011
New Delhi, Sep 2, DHNS:

Tobacco kills between 700,000 to one million Indians every year, most dying of mouth cancer

Even though it admits that ''gutka'' is a food adulterant, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is waiting for a clearcut direction from the Supreme Court before acting against various smokeless tobacco products sold in the market.

According to the rules notified by FSSAI, no food products should contain any substance that may be injurious to health. It further says tobacco and nicotine shall not be used as ingredients in any food products.

“Gutka is an adulterated version of the pan-masala in which tobacco is added to the masala,” explained an official. There is a laid-down standard for pan-masala but there is no standard for gutka.

FSSAI director V N Gaur said chewing tobacco like gutka could be called food because it is consumed like any other food product. The authority, however, was not going ahead full steam to check the gutka menace because there were many “legal gray area” on which it wanted a clear-cut guideline from the Supreme Court, sources told Deccan Herald. The case on gutka is still being heard by the apex court. Even though the authority as well as the food inspectors cannot officially say they are not taking any step to check consumption of gutka, unofficially emphasis for the FSSAI remains on food products like “oils, butter, milk and consumer food items” rather than gutka, which is being considered a “health issue” whose responsibility lies with the Union health ministry.

A few years ago, 12 states including Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat officially banned sale of gutka based on the Centre’s advisory. But in reality it is sold rampantly all over the country taking advantage of legal loopholes sustaining, what health activists claim, a Rs 8000 crore industry. Incidentally, even though gutka comes under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act of 2003, the Union health ministry has not notified any rules on gutka so far keeping the focus entirely on cigarettes and beedis.

Tobacco kills between 700,000 to one million Indians every year and many are victims of mouth cancer, caused by smokeless tobacco in 80 per cent cases. Health activists quoted many rulings and orders of the Supreme Court showing that the Centre has legal powers and authority to ban gutka because it is injurious to health. They said both FSSAI and its predecessor Prevention of Food Adulteration Act has provisions showing gutka as a food item on which actions can be taken.

Providing an example of ineffective implementation of rules, Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, executive director of the Voluntary Health Association of India said despite the apex court’s December order ban of sale of chewing tobacco and other paan masala products in plastic packets, it is openly being done so. The order came into force March 1, 2011.

 

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Olympic finalist Gymnast Dipa Karmakar being felicitated with Assames japi,Khoria and gomacha...

Olympic finalist Gymnast Dipa Karmakar being felicitated with Assames japi,Khoria and gomacha...

A boat man carries Hindu devotees in the river Yamuna early in the morning during magh Mela in...

A boat man carries Hindu devotees in the river Yamuna early in the morning during magh Mela in...

Austria's Michael Matt speeds down the course during an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom...

Austria's Michael Matt speeds down the course during an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom...

Punjab tableaux artists pose a photo during a press preview in New Delhi on Sunday...

Punjab tableaux artists pose a photo during a press preview in New Delhi on Sunday...

AIADMK leader SP Velumani inaugurates Cattle race after the urgent law was passed for...

AIADMK leader SP Velumani inaugurates Cattle race after the urgent law was passed for...

Bollywood actors Madhuri Dixit and Manish Paul atteded the ‘Umang Mumbai Police Show 2017’ in...

Bollywood actors Madhuri Dixit and Manish Paul atteded the ‘Umang Mumbai Police Show 2017’ in...

Youngstres and Students during the protest to Lift ban on jallikattu and impose ban on PETA...

Youngstres and Students during the protest to Lift ban on jallikattu and impose ban on PETA...

India Captain Virat Kohli celebrate after his 50 runs during 3rd ODI against England at Eden...

India Captain Virat Kohli celebrate after his 50 runs during 3rd ODI against England at Eden...

Rescue and relief work in progress at the site where Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express train derailed...

Rescue and relief work in progress at the site where Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express train derailed...

Samajwadi Party Vice president Kiranmoy Nanda, SP state president Naresh Utam and Congress state...

Samajwadi Party Vice president Kiranmoy Nanda, SP state president Naresh Utam and Congress state...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523