'NDA govt responsible for move on ban on arecanut'

KPCC Secretary Ivan D’Souza has accused that the NDA government was responsible for the move on ban on arecanut. A report submitted by an expert committee constituted by the NDA said that there are also evidences to show that chewing arecanut is carcinogenic.

Addressing a press meet here on Friday, he said the committee was constituted to chalk out programmes to save the interest of the growers. “The report submitted by the committee during the NDA rule states that there are evidences to prove that it is carcinogenic and therefore these is always a risk of discontinuation of such intoxicants due to awareness of health consciousness among the consumers. The then Campco president S R Rangamurthy, former president Rama Bhat, Akhila Bharatha Areca Growers Association President Dr P K S Bhat were part of the committee of experts. Why leaders like Rangamurthy failed to come to the rescue of areca growers?” he asked.

D’Souza said “it is a tragedy that the BJP which was responsible for the report on harmful affects of arecanut is using the issue for political gain. The officials had submitted an affidavit seeking ban on areca without bringing it to the notice of the Union Health Minister. The Health Minister in turn has promised to withdraw the affidavit. The Congress will never take any move which will harm the interest of the arecanut growers.”

“When the committee submitted its report on carcinogenic content in arecanut, why the BJP kept quiet. Former CM D V Sadananda Gowda who now speaks on the interest of arecanut growers had failed to come to the rescue of the growers. The BJP is following opportunist policy.”

The committee report had stated, “now is the time to decide whether we should continue to increase the quality of a produce which can not be utilised other than chewing purpose or to divert this valuable land for production of crops which can contribute to the food and nutrition security of people or export earnings. Since the arecanut is reported to be carcinogenic, may be in future with growing awareness of health hazards, its usage may be restricted. The committee discourages the new area expansion under arecanut,” the report stated.

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