New Delhi, April 3: The central government on Friday “dissociated” itself from comments made by a BJP parliamentarian that tobacco does not cause cancer. BJP’s Lok Sabha member from Allahabad Shyama Charan Gupta, who is a member of a parliamentary committee on subordite legislation on tobacco, has claimed that there was no evidence to show that tobacco causes cancer. He also alleged that there was a global conspiracy to kill India’s beedi industry.
“We are very clear that the party (BJP) and the health ministry do not subscribe to his (Gupta) views. We dissociate with his statement. It is for parliament to see. We don’t consider individual recommendations,” union Health Minister J.P. dda told Times Now news channel.
“We are very much consistent in our stand of reducing the consumption of tobacco,” the minister said, adding that any recommendation by the parliamentary committee would be considered on merit. Gupta has said: “There are many chain smokers who have not got cancer. This is being done by some foreign bodies. Why does WHO want to implement this in India and not in the Unites States, which is a better educated country?” The health ministry heeded a recommendation of the committee when it decided to keep in abeyance an October 2014 notification that made it mandatory for all tobacco packets to carry a pictorial warning covering 85 percent of its principal display area. (IANS)