GUWAHATI: The food safety department of the state government has found that in most of the non-smoking tobacco items (pan masala) being sold in the state contains magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) which may cause cancer and other diseases.
The department has conducted a sample survey of 43 samples of different brands of pan masala recently and found the presence of an ingredient (anticaking agent) namely magnesium carbonate which is prohibited to be used as per Regulation 3.1.7 (read with GMP table provisions for all food categories) of Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards & Additives) Regulations, 2011.
The department has declared the samples as ‘sub-standard’ products.
“As per Section 51 of FSS Act, 2006 any person who whether by himself or by any other person on his behalf manufactures for sale or store or distribute or import any article of food for human consumption which is substandard shall be liable to a penalty which extends to Rs 5 lakhs,” it said.
The survey was conducted as per the direction of the Gauhati high court in response to public interest litigation (PIL) filed by one Jitul Deka in February, seeking the court’s intervention in banning the manufacture, supply, and sale of ‘pan masala’ in Assam.