Stating that the government does not want to hurt investment flow after the Maggi row, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday said the Prime Minister has asked not to make unnecessary noise over issues such as Maggi controversy till all facts come to light.
Paswan favoured setting up a single coordinated body to look into many overlapping issues and expedite issuance of product clearances from various ministries in the food sector.
“Day before yesterday, the Prime Minister had also said whatever people say, we should maintain decorum on this issue (Maggi). Until we do not get the fact findings done, there is no need to create unnecessary noise,” Paswan said while sharing about the Maggi row at an Assocham event here.
- Ram Vilas Paswan to attend UNCTAD meet on consumer issues in Geneva
- Eating with Dalits won’t eradicate untouchability: Ram Vilas Paswan
- Consumer health is paramount and companies must sell only healthy and safe food products: Ram Vilas Paswan
- Maggi row raises serious questions about fast food quality, says Ram Vilas Paswan
- Maggi row: Planning stricter law on food safety, says Paswan
- Maggi row: In more trouble for Nestle India, Centre files complaint to consumer commission
The minister assured the food processing representatives that the government does not intend to impose ‘inspector raj’ and hurt investment flow in the sector, but asked them to maintain quality of products and do business in “honest and transparent” way.
“The government wants to achieve industrial growth but not at the cost of consumer interest. Products should be of good quality and the industry should ensure,” he said.
Acknowledging problems in getting product approvals, Paswan said, “There is a need to constitute a single coordinated body to look into many overlapping issues and expedite issuance of clearances from various ministries and government departments in the food sector.”
“We will write to each and every department and also to the Prime Minister that we need to seriously look into such issues being raised by the industry,” he said and added that there should be a time-bound redressal to the industries’ grievances.
Paswan said there is “media trial” going on in the Maggi row. He also spoke about certain labs finding Maggi samples conforming to food safety standards and later regulator FSSAI rejecting those test reports.
“There is public perception (about Maggi). If public perception gets dented even once then it become difficult to control. These days, media trial is happening in a big way. It had happened in the case of Coca-Cola too,” he added.
Consumers get affected when there are health related issues associated with products, he said, adding that there would be criticism in a Parliamentary democracy when such controversies come to light.
In June, FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles after it found its 30 samples “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption.
FSSAI had also said that Nestle violated labelling regulations on taste enhancer ‘MSG’ and ordered company to submit compliance report on its orders.