Health Policy

Health Ministry for banning smokeless tobacco

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The Health Ministry is in favour of banning smokeless forms of tobacco. The ministry has now decided to implement new rules notified by the Food Regulator – Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
“The Supreme Court ruled in a recent order that Gutka be treated as a food item. That being the case, its adulteration is violative of laws. Tobacco, which is an injurious substance, cannot be used in Gutka,” Additional Secretary, Health, Keshav Desiraju said.

Health activists in India blame that the government is not taking proactive action against the strong tobacco lobby. The Ministry has asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India–to make the relevant amendments in the prevention of food adulteration law.
Keshav Desiraju said there is some contradiction in the August notification which mentions tobacco as a food product. We have asked the authority to change this provision. They are in the process of doing so.

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