Maggi ban: Government labs not equipped to conduct lead test, says Nestle

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Swiss giant Nestle on Friday urged the Bombay High Court to struck down its order on ban of Maggi noodles stating that the government labs are not equipped to conduct lead test.

States like Delhi, Maharashtra, Punjab, Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Goa and Uttarakhand have banned Maggi noodles amid mounting food safety concerns and several laboratory tests reporting excessive lead in it.

Counsel for Maggi, presenting findal arguments in Bombay High Court said that West Bengal, Pune, Delhi labs are not competent to check lead content adding that Varodra, Rajkot and Uttarakhand labs are not accredited for lab test.

The counsel further stated that two different labs testing the same batch were showing contradictory results.

Central health watchdog Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned all variants of Maggi noodles terming them as “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption.

FSSAI had directed Nestle India to withdraw nine variants of Maggi noodles found unsafe from the market and to stop the further production and sale of the same.

The order to Nestle states that the regulatory body has noted three ‘major violations’, namely the presence of lead detected in the product in excess of the maximum permissible levels; misleading labelling information on the package reading ‘No added MSG’; and thirdly the release of a non-standardised food product ‘Maggi Oats Masala Noodles with Tastemaker’ in the market, without risk assessment and grant of product approval.