If you eat it, you will get cancer… What is the ‘fruit of death’ banned from sale: Seoul Economic Daily

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Betel nut sold by local governments in China. yunhap news

Local governments in China have started to regulate the sale of betel nut, which is called the ‘fruit of death’ because it causes oral cancer.

According to the People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, on the 22nd, the market supervision and administration bureaus of Yiwu, Zhejiang Province and Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, banned the sale of processed betel nut on the 20th and ordered the collection of products displayed on the shelves. Starting with Junyi, Guizhou Province, in May, about 10 places have banned the sale of betel nut food.

Previously, China excluded betel nut from the list of food items in 2020, and in September of last year banned the promotion or sale of betel nut as a food through broadcasting and the Internet.

In some Asian countries, including China, betel nut is used as a treatment for poor circulation and as an antiparasitic drug, and many people chew it like gum.

However, betel nut contains arecholine, which can cause oral cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer designated betel nut as a class 1 carcinogen in 2003, and China also designated arecholine as an oral cancer-causing substance in 2017. This is why local governments in China have started to regulate betel nut.

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Chinese singer Fu Song died of oral cancer due to betel nut poisoning. China Post Capture

The background to the surge in regulations is the death of Chinese singer Fu Song (36). He developed oral cancer from betel nut poisoning and died on the 10th. Until his death, he informed the world about the dangers of betel nut, but even after being diagnosed with cancer, he was said to have been unable to stop eating betel nut due to poisoning.

Despite the regulations of the authorities, the production and consumption of betel nut in China is on the rise.

According to Chinese media Food Magazine, consumption in China in 2020 was 103.378 million tons, up 1.6% from the previous year.

According to the China Market Supervision Administration, the size of the betel lange market, which was 55.8 billion yuan (about 11 trillion won) in 2011, has grown to 78.1 billion yuan (about 16 trillion won) in 2018, and is expected to exceed 100 billion yuan (20 trillion won) by 2025. was expected to

There are more than 15,000 betel nut related enterprises in China. The Hainan Betel Lang Association, which produces 280,000 tons per year and accounts for 95% of China’s total production, said, “We will comply with laws and regulations in the distribution process and strive to develop medicinal drugs.”

Meanwhile, the number of oral cancer patients in Hainan is said to be 20 times higher than the average in China.

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