A lawmaker wants momos taken off the menu. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As if the restrictions on slaughtering cows weren’t generating enough controversy, the ruling BJP has turned its attention to another popular food.

Ramesh Arora,  a Jammu and Kashmir BJP lawmaker, has started a campaign to ban momos – steamed meat or vegetable dumplings associated with Tibetan and Nepali cuisine – because they contain monosodium glutamate (MSG), which he claims is a public health threat.

Arora was quoted as saying, “Momos have been found to be the root cause of several life-threatening diseases, including cancer of the intestine.”

He added: “[MSG] is responsible for converting a minor headache into migraine. Besides memory loss, regular consumption for two to three years causes cancer of the stomach. They are found to be more harmful than alcohol and psychotropic drugs.”

Arora has met with the state health minister, Bali Bhagat, in an effort to persuade him to ban momos and Chinese street food, which is also known to contain MSG.

However, there may not be a scientific basis for his claim that MSG is harmful to people’s health, the BBC reported, citing recent studies.

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