Mr. Konkodi Padmanabha, the president of Campco (Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd) has recently conveyed to the media people that some of the top officials from the Central Govt may have been trying to initiate a ban on Areca Nut which is also globally known as Betel Nut.
The National Rural Health Mission (Under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare) had written to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to evaluate the harmful effects of Areca Nut, based on the scientific analysis to check the dangerous substances. It is not clear if FSSAI has come out with any facts or findings as publicly they are not available.
As per a reputed organization on cancer research, Chewing Areca can be carcinogenic to humans.
Mr. Padmanabha was referring to the support document of the verdict by the Karnataka High court wherein Areca Nut was not declared injurious to health. The verdict came in 2007 in the case between – The Malnad Areca Marketing Cooperative Society Ltd and Union of India. Although the union govt has not challenged this verdict but Mr. Padmanabha feels that there is a lobby which is trying to intervene in this matter.
Mr. Padmanabha said that Campco will strongly oppose to any move to ban the cultivation of Areca Nut in order to protect the interest of the farmers.
Arecanut has two varieties; white Supari and Red Supari. The White variety is grown in North Kanara, South Kanara and northern parts of Kerala. The red variety is mainly produced in Shimoga, Chickmangalur, North Kanara, Chitradurga, Tumkur Districts of Karnataka.
Updated on December 17, 2013
As per the latest updates, K. Jayaprakash Hegde, a congress MP, stated to have said that the Health & Family Welfare Ministry has ruled out any possibility to ban the Areca Nut as they have not been approached for such a proposal.
Areca Nut is seen as a nutritious food item and it is unlikely that it will be banned until and unless there will be substantial evidences to prove its harmful effects on humans.