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Draft norms on labelling of scented supari have growers up in arms

Areca growers have objected to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) draft regulation on labelling scented supari (areca).

This follows a draft regulation issued on December 27 by the authority on labelling, which asks the paan masala manufacturers to caution buyer that chewing supari ‘injurious to health’ on the package.

The draft said: “Every package of paan masala and/or and other similar products containing supari (betel nut) as one of the ingredients and advertisements relating thereto shall carry the following warning. Taking objection to this proposal, Srinivasa Achar, President of All-India Areca Growers’ Association, said that supari, (betelnut/arecanut) is not injurious to health. “Supari is being consumed by vast majority for thousands of years without any health hazard. Any additive, if found injurious, may be banned in paan masala packets,” he said. It is wrong to target areca/supari instead of targeting tobacco and liquor, he said.

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