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All time and everyone’s favourite snack, 2-minutes Maggi noodles is under the regulatory scanner of
FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) after news of alleged high lead content was probed in the Maggi noodles.
Indian Daily, Economic Times had reported earlier this month that samples collected from some parts of Uttar Pradesh were found containing added ‘monosodium glutamate’ (MSG) and lead in excess of the permissible limit. In this regard inquiry had been initiated by Lucknow Food Safety and Drug Administration which post inquiry requested FSSAI to cancel license for Maggi and had also asked FSSAI to order sampling of the product from across the country to check its quality.
It was also reported that in view of the alleged probe, food inspectors had ordered Nestle India to recall a batch of Maggi noodles from shops in the northern state of U.P. however Nestle has negated any such claims.
Recent developments in the matter report that the UP Food Regulator FSDA (Food Safety and Drug Administration) has lodged a Criminal Complaint against Nestle India in a Local Court in Barabanki, U.P. It has also been reported that in a separate case filed by an Advocate in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bollywood superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta have been roped in the matter for allegedly promoting Maggi Noodles in advertisements.
Nestle India’s Response
Nestle has strongly confronted the aforesaid allegations and maintains the stand that Maggi noodles “confirms to all applicable food laws and regulations” and stated that it does not add MSG to Maggi noodles and glutamate, if present, may come from naturally occurring sources. It further stated that food regulators in India also do not specify any limit for the presence of MSG / Glutamate.
Nestle has also urged its retailers to step up promotion of Maggi noodles as the news of alleged lead content and MSG has reportedly declined the sales of Maggi noodles across the country.
It won’t be an exaggeration to state that Maggi has become equivalent to a staple food particularly for students in India who heavily rely on Maggi owing to the great taste it offers in a matter of just 2-minutes. However, the implications as stated above would have definitely affected its sales among masses.
The matter at hand also brings in light the role of FSSAI in the case and the implementation of food safety laws in India where the nuances of food adulteration are rampantly aggravating.
In 2013, FSSAI had issued a notification pursuant to which various packaged foods including Maggi noodles come with the FSSAI logo and license number which imparts the assurance among customers that the product has undergone quality checks. However, the said news does raise concern about quality checks and clarity on the permissible limits of alleged substances in food.