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Phew. Maggi is outs of the woods and it’s a bigger relief for the ‘2-minute’ noddle lovers than it is for Nestle. Bombay High Court on Thursday quashed the FSSAI order banning Maggi, setting aside the 5 June order by the FSSAI.
But just because the ban has been lifted, it doesn’t mean that the noodles will be available in the market immediately.
The High Court has directed FSSAI to conduct fresh tests on five Maggi samples at three accredited labs and if the people’s favourite instant noodle gets a clean chit, it will be back on shelves and consequently on your plates. The court said that tests must be conducted within six weeks and if no excess lead or MSG is found in the samples, Nestle can resume manufacturing.
The average Indian has been craving for Maggi since it was banned. The Maggi saga has been stretched out beyond its limit, both on India media and on Indian minds. Since the ban, Nestle stocks have plummeted, Maggi has gone off shelves, and people have lost their ever-present and friendly neighbourhood snack. Quality tests on maggi samples too have given out mixed signals. Recently USFDA gave Maggi a go-ahead for US markets. On 5 August FSSAI approved labs in Goa and mysore had found maggi safe for consumption, but FSSAI dismissed those reports.
Sure, if Maggi is found safe, it will make a comeback to store-shelves. But the question remains whether the Indian consumer will buy Maggi? Will their faith be restored in the product? Going by the Twitter reaction to Maggi being back, one can safely say that Maggi will be back with a bang.
New Delhi: As a ban continues in India on Nestle’s Maggi noodles, the US health regulator USFDA has said its tests have found the lead level in the popular instant food within acceptable levels for US consumers.
A USFDA spokesperson, in an e-mailed statement, said: “Following news reports about alleged lead levels in Maggi noodles made by Nestle and sold in the US, FDA tested a limited number of samples for lead contamination. FDA testing did not find any levels that present a public health concern for US consumers.”
Meanwhile, a day after the government filed a class action suit against the company seeking Rs 640 crore in damages for alleged unfair trade practices, false labelling and misleading advertisements, Nestle India denied receiving an official notice.
“We are yet to receive an official notice about the complaint filed before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC). Our current knowledge on this issue is only media reports. We shall be able to provide substantive response after we receive the official papers,” Nestle said in a BSE filing.
On FDA clearance, a Nestle India spokesperson said: “We have learnt from our official importer in the United States, House of Spices, that USFDA has tested several shipments of Maggi noodles from India for lead content. Finding no unsafe lead levels, FDA released the noodles for sale in the United States.”
Similarly, health regulators in the UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia and Vietnam have also cleared India-made Maggi as safe for human consumption.
In June, food safety regulator FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles in India, terming it as “unsafe and hazardous” for consumption due to presence of lead beyond permissible limits. Nestle India too withdrew the product from the market.
FSSAI had also said Nestle India had violated labelling regulations on taste enhancer ‘MSG’ and ordered the company to submit a compliance report on the same.
The ban on Maggi showed up in Nestle India earnings earlier as it reported a standalone loss of Rs 64.40 crore for the June quarter — its first quarterly loss in over three decades. It had posted a net profit of Rs 287.86 crore in April-June of 2014-15.