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MP’s claim on Areca nut ‘shocking’, misleading Areca farmers – CAMPCO

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MP’s claim on Areca nut ‘shocking’, misleading and hurting Areca farmers’ feelings – CAMPCO

The Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (CAMPCO) Ltd have strongly criticized Nishikant Dubey, BJP Member of Parliament from Godda in Jharkhand, for his reported remark on an Areca nut.

A section of the media cited a recent letter from Dubey in which he reportedly requested that the Prime Minister prohibit human consumption of betel nut (Areca nut) because it ’caused diseases including cancer.’

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Campco President Kishore Kumar Kodgi called the MP’s claims ‘shocking’ and made them without scientific evidence. ‘His statement is not only misleading, but it also ended up hurting Areca nut farmers’ feelings,’ he stated.’

It has been proved time and again that the Areca nut alone is not toxic to humans. Recent research by competent institutes, both domestic and international, has given positive results, he claims.

According to a 1974 study from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, Kodgi, scientists discovered that Areca nut cures cancer. Scientists at Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, confirmed this. According to him, the Areca nut is used in the preparation of more than 30 medicines in China.

More research is needed

He stated that Campco had already begun research studies on Areca nut with reputable international institutes. According to him, Areca nut is classified as ‘food’ under Section 2 (v) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.

According to Campco’s president, Areca nuts have a variety of medicinal values for both humans and domestic animals. Areca nut use in ayurvedic medicine dates back to the ancient Sanskrit text ‘Charaka Samhita,’ he said, and it has a significant place in religious, social, and cultural spheres.

Kodgi urged the Prime Minister to direct relevant officials to conduct a comprehensive scientific study on the health benefits of Areca nuts. Farmers’ morale would be maintained as a result, he said.

‘Dangerous additives’

P Chowdappa, former director of the Kasaragod-based Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) and chairperson of the technical committee of the Karnataka government’s Areca nut taskforce, recently stated that there was no evidence that Areca nut was carcinogenic.

‘What we (the Areca nut taskforce) are now demanding is that, rather than unnecessarily blaming Areca nut as cancer-causing, studies be conducted at various institutes throughout the country. Let them prove it through studies,’ he had said.

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According to Chowdappa, who edited the book Arecanut, nearly 60 million people rely on Areca nut for a living. It has been used in villages for centuries. When ‘gutkha’ and ‘paan masala’ hit the market, manufacturers began adding a variety of additives, including tobacco, which he claims had a negative effect on human health.

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