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India: Gutkha, pan masala come under food category

The state government, defending its one-year ban on manufacture and sale of gutkha and paan masala, on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court in an affidavit that the two products come under the category of ‘food’ under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006.

Five gutkha manufacturers had challenged the state government’s notification of July 19 banning the manufacture, distribution, storage and sale of gutkha and paan masala. The ban has been invoked under the FSSA.

The manufacturers had contended that gutkha, which contains six to eight per cent tobacco, has no nutritional value and hence, cannot be brought under the purview of the FSSA. They stated that it would come under the Tobacco Act, 2003.

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