The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday ordered a ban on the sale, import and export of 'Chinese salt' (monosodium glutamate) — popularly known as Ajinomoto — all over the country, declaring it "hazardous for health".

After hearing a suo motu case concerning the sale of MSG and used oil in the SC Lahore Registry, the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar ordered that the chief secretaries of all provinces be informed of the court's decision. He further said that the prime minister should take up the issue in the cabinet.

The Punjab chief secretary, who had appeared in court today, told Justice Nisar that the Sindh government had prohibited the sale of Chinese salt under Article 144 of the Constitution. The Punjab Food Authority, meanwhile, was taking measures against the selling of the "hazardous" condiment.

The court was also told that a debate over the import and export of MSG was pending in the Cabinet.

The Punjab government had imposed a ban on the sale, import and export of MSG in January. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh had followed suit and banned the condiment for its “hazardous effects on human health” in February.

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