Special Correspondent

No action taken on plea to ban import of cassia

In Kannur cinnamon is cultivated in 700 acres

Cassia is reportedly harmful to health

KANNUR: Cinnamon farmers are facing crisis due to import of cheaper cassia, a variety of cinnamon that is reportedly harmful to health. A representation was submitted by Leonardo John of the Red Star Estate here to the Union Ministry for Health and the Spices Board demanding a ban on import of cassia from China and Indonesia.

But, the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry is yet to receive a copy of the Mr. John’s representation and so, no action has been taken till date.

Following Mr. John’s representation, the Spices Board had found that the cassia was marketed as cinnamon to consumers through retail outlets.

The board informed Mr. John that it had recommended to the Director General of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry that cassia be listed as restricted item for import, he said.

The Union Ministry of Health also informed him that his representation was sent to the Ministry of Commerce with a request that an action taken report be sent to him within a month.

Farmers suffer

Mr. John said that when he invoked the Right to Information Act to get details from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade about the action taken, he was informed that it had not received the representation.

Mr. John said that import of cassia had made life difficult for cinnamon growers in the State, especially in Kannur which had 700 acres of land under this crop.

He said that even in this district it was difficult to get real cinnamon because most of the shops sell cassia.