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Gutka, Khaini trade unabated in Rajahmundry District
Who has to bell the cat? Which is the authority to take action against illegal trade of harmful sale of the deadly Gutka, khaini, and Jarda which is going unabated in this district.
RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM (EAST GODAVARI DISTRICT): Who has to bell the cat? Which is the authority to take action against illegal trade of harmful sale of the deadly Gutka, khaini, and Jarda which is going unabated in this district.
The local court had recently said that since these are tobacco based products and not food products, action cannot be taken under the Food Safety and Standard Act. This has put brakes on the department. Authorities say that unless the government comes up with a comprehensive law there was not much they can do to curb the menace.
The Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 (FSS Act) was enacted to regulate and monitor the manufacture, processing, packing, storage, and transportation of food and food additives. The act aims to provide only wholesome food for human consumption.
Scientific reports by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and The National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) have described the most harmful effects of gutka chewing. Gutka and pan masalas are mentioned as carcinogens. It is claimed that their consumption can cause fatal diseases like esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, mouth cancer, and throat cancer.
Many areas in the East Godavari district, including Rajamahendravaram, have become a hub for Gutka, Khaini, and Jarda trade due to a lack of proper control over these dangerous products. In the past, the authorities used to take measures to control the trade of banned Gutka but now they are left free. Gutka and Khaini packets are being supplied from Rajamahendravaram to all parts of the East Godavari district.
About 80 percent of pan shops sell Gutka packets more than cigarettes. Raja Khaini, MC, and Deluxe brands have been banned in many parts of the country. Though these are known to be highly pathogenic, their sale is going on in the city.