LAHORE: The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) on Sunday banned the sale of betel nuts (Supari/chaliya) in Punjab and gave a 90-day ultimatum to the people concerned to wind up the business.
The decision was taken in a PFA’s scientific penal meeting at its headquarters. PFA Director-General Noor-ul-Amin Mengal chaired the meeting. The penal members presented recommendations at the meeting to immediately stop the production and sale of betel nuts at paan shops and general stores, which is harmful to consumer health
He said that our aim to protect the consumers from the harmful effects of such substances.
“A large number of people, especially youngsters, are suffering from submucous fibrosis (SMF) and the patient cannot open their mouth completely and ultimately they suffer a loss of jaw movement. Strict action as per the relevant provisions of the PFA Act 2011 shall be initiated against them after April 30,” he warned.
He also said that the use and profession of betel nuts are strictly prohibited in many countries like UAE, India and others. He stated it is a punishable offense and people are not chew the products in public places in these countries.
“The World Health Organization has already classified betel nut as a carcinogen which is a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue,” he added.
The producers and retailers have both been warned to end the sale of the product within the next three months.