Nestle’s Maggi noodles faces heat across India, fails tests in Delhi

Sources said the Delhi government has also called a meeting of Health Department officials on Wednesday to take a decision on whether the product needed to be banned.

New Delhi | Updated: June 3, 2015 9:02 am
maggi, maggi ban, maggi lead, maggi row, maggl i toxic, maggi nestle, nestle maggi, maggi ad, ad maggi, maggi court notice, maggi food safety, food safety maggi, maggi news, madhuri dixit, madhuri dixit court notice The crackdown followed a directive issued by the Food Safety of Standards Authority of India (FSAAI) asking all states to test samples of the product at laboratories notified by the authority.

The heat rose on Nestlé’s Maggi noodles across the country Tuesday with the Delhi government saying its tests had found the popular snack unfit for consumption and Kerala imposing a temporary ban on the product at 1,200 state-run outlets.

[Read: Delhi Food Commissioner: 12 of 13 Maggi samples had too much lead, MSG]

Officials in at least eight other states — Haryana, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Bihar, Punjab, Assam and Tamil Nadu — said they have sent samples of the product for testing at government labs.

And, a court in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur directed police to register an FIR against two Nestle officials and Bollywood stars, Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta, for their commercial association with the brand.

The crackdown followed a directive issued by the Food Safety of Standards Authority of India (FSAAI) asking all states to test samples of the product at laboratories notified by the authority.

The directive was issued after tests ordered by UP’s Food Safety and Drug Administration reportedly found monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavour enhancer that officials say is not listed in Maggi packets, and “very high quantities”of lead in the noodles.
Nestle India denied the charges and said the product was found “safe to eat” after it conducted tests on samples in-house and in an external laboratory, and that they were cooperating with authorities on further tests.

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Amid the nationwide crackdown (see box), the biggest development of the day was Delhi government officials saying that 10 samples of Maggi were found having lead exceeding the prescribed limits of 2.5 parts per million, and five samples of the “taste maker” had MSG “without a proper declaration in the label”.

“This falls under the category of misbranding. The claim on Maggi packets is that they don’t use any MSG in the product,” said a Delhi government spokesperson.

The state government has also decided to initiate a case against the company and impose a fine for “misbranding”, officials said, adding that Nestle officials would be summoned.

maggi“We will be initiating legal action against Nestle and Maggi immediately, including filing a police complaint. We will also continue to test more samples,” said Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain.

Sources said the Delhi government has also called a meeting of Health Department officials on Wednesday to take a decision on whether the product needed to be banned.

Earlier, officials in the office of Kerala’s Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob confirmed that the state’s civil supplies corporation, a government undertaking, had ordered a temporary ban on the sale of Maggi noodles in the 1,200 outlets run by it. “However, there is no ban on the sale of the product in outlets and stores in the open market,” an official said.

In Haryana, Health Minister Anil Vij said that the state has picked random samples for tests. “If the alleged lapses are found true in tests done on the collected samples, strict action as per the law shall be taken against the violators,” Vij said.

magggiiiIn Muzaffarpur, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Ramchandra Prasad, healing a plea, directed police to register an FIR against Mohan Gupta, Nestle’s managing director, and Sabab Alam, its joint director, apart from the Bollywood stars.

Bachchan had clarified that does not endorse the brand now while Dixit has reportedly said the company has provided an assurance about its product’s quality.

Officials in Karnataka, meanwhile, said they had ordered fresh tests after an initial examination failed to find “any significant level” of lead. And, the Himachal Pradesh government said it was “keeping a close watch on the developments”.

In a statement issued at stock exchanges, Nestle maintained that the company is fully co-operating with officials conducting further tests.

“We have also submitted samples of Maggi Noodles from almost 600 product batches to an external laboratory for independent analysis and we tested samples from almost 1,000 batches at our accredited laboratory. These samples represent around 125 million packets. All the results of these internal and external tests show that lead levels are well within the limits specified by food regulations and that Maggi noodles are safe to eat. We are sharing these results with the authorities,” the statement said.

(With inputs from ENS in Odisha, Punjab, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana and PTI)

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  1. M
    Merlin Joy
    Mar 2, 2016 at 6:57 am
    This is one of the exciting article I have come across recently. I also have a similar website
    1. D
      Dr.Amita Mahajan
      Jun 3, 2015 at 11:22 am
      We have to stop eating Maggi , other fast food. I am a doctor ,everyday seeing problems due to our bad food habits.
      1. A
        Jun 2, 2015 at 7:43 pm
        other states should also ban maggi
        1. A
          ak dev
          Jun 3, 2015 at 12:41 am
          The funny thing that smells foul is that why only Maggi is being tested. Why not all other similar products tested? Who is preventing that?
          1. C
            Jun 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm
            What about other packed foods, chips, kurkure, biscuits et all? All packed food should be tested for food adulterations and safety. Chicken is fed with growth hormones. Vegetables are equally unsafe. Let it not be selective.
            1. D
              Jun 3, 2015 at 8:09 am
              if this happened in dubai/saudi this company would have got their license cancelled... and the fact that even after this much news, the demand is still high.. how blind can public b of one's health ...
              1. D
                Dr. Sonali
                Jun 3, 2015 at 6:32 am
                Government should take a overall holistic "India first" view of the MNCs operations in India. MNCs have monopolized many market areas. Many unhealthy products are being dumped by MNCs around the world. Compeion commission should also be proactive in protecting interests of consumers and citizens. Alcohol and advertising industry is also MNC monopoly. Wrong and anti-social advertising should also be curbed.
                1. S
                  Syed Azmathullah
                  Jun 3, 2015 at 8:18 am
                  Earlier this year I complained on the internet that Nestle was selling chicory powder as instant coffee, that Vodafone was not providing the quantum of wi-fi for the money received and was mocking police, that Amul butter was not butter but some composition, and is probably in shop counters still on , and that BSNL was not giving call details and sending false bloated bills. None of these complaints were looked into and responded to. BSNL continued to demand bill payment when there was no landline call made at all. Seeing that this was the state of affairs, and supermarkets were charging for carry bags and luring with percentage deductions on prices without genuine discounts, the hot fraudulent atmosphere was evident. When I bought a savory, the staff placed the packet in the oven and gave it after time without warming it, and it was stale. Life is a cruel joke when acche din are announced, taxes and petrol prices are raised and groceries follow suit, rationed daals are sold in black by the ration shops.
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