After hearing arguments for over a fortnight and examining several bundles of documents, the Bombay is set to pronounce whether or not India’s food regulator was right in banning Maggi noodles manufactured by food giant Nestle India.
On June 5, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ordered Nestle India to withdraw all nine variants of Maggi instant noodles from the market terming them “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption. The company had earlier argued that CEO of FSSAI, while passing the order had acted in an “emergent, drastic and arbitrary” fashion while raising doubts over his jurisdiction. Nestle also argued that the food regulator had not served any notice before passing the order of ban. A similar order was passed the Maharashtra Food and Drug Authority.
According to the FSSAI, the bone of contention is Maggi noodles having excessive lead content, which Nestle India has vehemently denied.
The company has also been accused of misleading the customers by mentioning “no added msg” on its packets.
On the contrary, Nestle India has argued in HC that before asking them to ban the product, there ought to have been a mention of injury or risk to health by the company.
Therefore, it was argued in court, that the merely by claiming there was a quality issue, the order could not have been passed.
The company claimed it has been operating in India for 30 years, in additional to having a worldwide reach. Children are being told that they are consuming poison, which is worrisome for its credibility and reputation, it was argued.
Today’s order will put an end the long-drawn legal tussle between Nestle India and food authorities of both Maharashtra state and centre.