June 2014 \ Business & Investment \ Betel Leaves Under Scanner

 Uday Dholakia Chairman of the National Asian Business Association has expressed serious concerns in the manner many of the fruit and vegetable imports for the British Asian communities are coming under stringent regulatory scrutiny.

Mr Dholakia has said “The European Commission issued a statement stating that since August 2011 a high proportion of consignments of paan leaves imported into the UK from India have tested positive for salmonella. Salmonella causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting. The EU's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) has said "continuous reports notified by UK have led to the setting up of reinforced checks for paan leaves from India. An important source of RASFF notifications on pathogens are fruits and vegetables," it said. "The main pathogen referred through RASFF is salmonella. The high reason for salmonella contamination since 2011 is paan leaves."

“The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) “said Uday Dholakia “has earlier issued a warning to consumers about the risk of salmonella food poisoning from paan leaves. The FSA has asked authorities at UK ports and airports to sample and test all consignments of paan leaves presented for import, especially those coming from India and Thailand”

Uday Dholakia, previously a Non-Executive Director of Local Better Regulation Office, part of the UK Government’s Department of Business Innovation and Skills said “during my tenure at LBRO, I facilitated a major research report on the Impacts of Regulation on Diverse Communitiesand actively highlighted the plight of British Asian importers. The research came in late and wasn’t up to our expectations, hence NABA has taken the lead in this partnership with the UK regulators”. NABA is now working with all the three political parties in the UK via Alok Sharma from the Conservatives, Seema Malhotra from the Labour Party and Zuffar Huq from the Lib-Dems.

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