Home » FSS ACT » Label tobacco as food item to ban it, suggests Delhi govt to

Label tobacco as food item to ban it, suggests Delhi govt to

New Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) Delhi governments health department has urged the Centre to amend the definition of Food and label tobacco as a food item in the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 to tackle the menace of chewable tobacco in India.
“It is mentionable that no government will allow to put anything inside the mouth which is a poison or a toxic substance. If we modify the definition of food by saying that a substance which is put into the mouth for the purpose of consumption fully or partially, by methods like chewing, sucking or any other method may be labelled as a Food Item,” said S K Arora, Additional Director, Health, Government of Delhi, in a letter to the Union Health Ministry.
Referring to the 2011 regulation of Food Safety Act which prohibits consumption of any substance as food which contains tobacco or nicotine as an additive substance, Arora said, “Thus, all kinds of chewable tobacco whether raw, scented, flavoured or any other will automatically get banned permanently through a Central Act for which no state will have to issue repeated notifications and which usually lands up in the court because of the tobacco industrys interference.”
Arora said consumption of chewable tobacco is increasing in Delhi because of surrogate advertisements of pan masala, especially by Bollywood celebrities.
Immediately after coming to power in February 2015, the AAP government had issued a notification banning chewable tobacco but some manufacturing companies filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court on account of which it could not implemented.
“The previous notification lapsed its 1 year term but the court could not give a concrete decision on this matter.
“However, Delhi Government on its commitment to public health revised the notification on April 13, 2016 after the lapse of the previous notification. But this time also this notification has been challenged in the High Court and is due for hearing on May 3,” Arora said.

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