LAHORE - The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has sealed a fake betel nut (chhalia and supari) manufacturing unit of popular brand named ‘Bombay Sweet Supari’ by rooting out the factory located at Multan Road, Lahore.

Acting on a tipoff, PFA team under the supervision of its Director General Irfan Memon raided a factory and caught huge consignment of betel nuts including 1,000kg coloured supari, 900kg raw betel nuts, 192 packets of fake Bombay Supari and 25kg artificial sweeteners.

The team also confiscated packing material, hot plate, weighing machine, two mixer and two packing machines. He said that fake supari was being manufactured by using artificial sweeteners and chemicals.  Meanwhile, the raiding team also witnessed poor cleanliness arrangements and incomplete labeling on ready-to-eat product.

He said that PFA has also taken action against the factory for doing business without getting a food license, failing to produce a record of raw material and on account of adulteration.

DG said that the use of supari causes oral cavity cancer for its users as well tooth decay. According to the PFA Act, it is a heinous crime to prepare fake eatable. He added that PFA will root out the production unit of any food business operators, which will not comply with the provincial food laws.

Meanwhile, PFA has sealed two food points and uprooted unhealthy vegetable crops by ploughing on 105-kanal land during the routine inspection operation in different districts of Punjab.

According to details, the Faisalabad team of PFA closed down Abdullah Ice Factory over the violation of Emergency Prohibition Order (EPO), the presence of insects in production area, not having medical certificates and filtration plant.

A team of PFA raided Timber Market Spices Grinding Unit in Gujranwala and sealed it on account of adulteration. In South Punjab, PFA has discarded thousands of kilograms of toxic vegetables including onion, tomato, coriander, spinach, green chilli pepper and cauliflower.

DG said that PFA had warned farmers but they did not take authority’s instructions serious. Teams have discarded unhealthy vegetables that cultivated on 48-kanal land in Lodhran, 40-kanal land in Bahawalnagar, 16-kanal land in Bahawalpur and one kanal land in Rahim Yar Khan. 

He said that the use of wastewater to irrigate crops causes health diseases after adding its toxic materials in the ready crops.

He said farmers can cultivate the only alternative and non-edible crops with sewerage and industrial wastewater like bamboos, jute, indoor plants and flowers.

 Irfan Memon further said that vegetables are being irrigated through tubewell water as compared to last year practice from farmers. He has warned farmers to avoid irrigating crops with sewerage water, otherwise, PFA will plough on crops as per law.