PATNA: The Nitish Kumar government on Friday banned 12 pan masala brands in Bihar for a period of one year for containing magnesium carbonate which causes health problems, an official said.
The decision was taken by the state government following the presence of magnesium carbonate in all the 20 samples of pan masala collected from nine districts by food safety officers.
Using power under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, Food Safety Commissioner Sanjay Kumar has banned the manufacture, storage, transportation, distribution, display and sale of pan masala of 12 different brands for a period of one year from today August 30, 2019, an official release said.
People of the state have been requested to cooperate for the enforcement of the ban on pan masala, the commissioner said in the release.
The samples of these brands collected by food safety officers were sent for examination at 'Combined Food and drugs Laboratory' at Agamkuan, Patna where it was found that all the 20 samples contain magnesium carbonate, the release said.
On the basis of scientific studies, it has been found that the use of magnesium carbonate for a long period of time could "cause serious diseases such as cardiac arrest, acute hyper magnesia," the release said.
Pan masala comes under the category of food items and hence the use of magnesium carbonate in pan masala is a violation of clause 3.17 of Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations 2011, it added.
The state government had earlier imposed a ban on the manufacture, sale, distribution and storage of gutka and all its varients.
The Bihar government had also enforced total prohibition in the state from April 5, 2016.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been pushing for de- addiction ever since prohibition was enforced in the state.