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ICICI Lombard Expert Blog

FDA Plans Surprise Raids to Seize Gutka Packets!

May 07 2012

In a surprising report, it has been stated that the FDA has planned surprise raids to seize Gutka packets. The reason behind this is possible threat of Gutka on health of Indian citizens. These packets on average consist of about seven per cent magnesium carbonate, a chemical widely utilized in a huge number of fire extinguishers. Food And Drug Administration has expressed serious cancer against the presence of this chemical in Gutka. The news is also a great shock for all those who use certain type of smokeless tobacco. A research has confirmed that more than 206 million Indians use some type of smokeless tobacco.

The World Health Organisation has calculated about 26 per cent of adults in India are addicted to smokeless tobacco in some form and about 40 per cent of Indians face death due to this addiction.

According to the Director of Healis Institute for Public Health, Dr Prakash Gupta, Magnesium carbonate produces certain health effects. However, it turns into a carcinogen when added to gutka and affects human health more seriously and dramatically. It consists of huge amount of toxins and produces many fatal as well as non-fatal diseases. He also added that Magnesium Carbonate is added to gutka and it is very dangerous for health.

The element is added to gutka in order to enhance shelf life of the product. This can result in chronic side effects. The FDA Maharashtra is at present planning to execute surprise raids to seize gutka packets and prohibit companies using magnesium carbonate as a preservative.

Surgical Oncologist of Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi has recommended seizing and surrendering of Gutka and related products containing magnesium carbonate rather than banning. This is the best way to follow regular food safety standards act of India.

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