A week after Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Maharashtra lifted the ban on the sale of flavoured supari (areca nut); it has rolled back its order and decided to continue with the ban for the next six months.
In an article published on July 22, My Medical Mantra had highlighted how the FDA’s decision to allow the sale of flavoured supari is a major setback to the on-going anti-tobacco campaign.
“A separate notification has been issued for flavoured supari as it will be changed or modified as per the one man committee report,” said Dr Pallavi Darade, Commissioner, FDA, Maharashtra.
The new notification issued by the FDA bans sale of flavoured supari from July 20 for next six months.
In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) had classified areca nut or betel nut as carcinogen to humans even without the addition of tobacco to it.
The Maharashtra FDA in a press note accepted that the substances which are used to make flavoured supari are scientifically proven to be hazardous to health. It further said because of their colour and flavour, these substances attracts adult and teenage consumers and that is why the flavored supari was earlier banned.
The state government has appointed a one-member committee to look into the ban which was imposed on flavoured areca nut in 2012.
Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Head and Neck cancer surgeon, Tata Memorial Hospital appreciated the ban on flavoured supari and demanded that such harmful products should be permanently banned.
“I appreciate that the FDA has realised the aberration in their notification and corrected it by banning scented/flavoured supari. Needless to say, there is a plethora of evidence on harmful effects of supari. My earnest plea is to ban these harmful products permanently rather than making it an annual affair,” Dr Chaturvedi said.