Ruling out any special consideration being given to the Patanjali noodles case, food regulator FSSAI has said it will take a final call after studying the company's reply to its notice. "We have received reply from Patanjali to our show-cause notice. We are studying that and the case is in process," FSSAI Chairperson Ashish Bahuguna told PTI.
"The case is neither delayed nor expedited because it belongs to Patanjali," he said. In November 2015, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had issued a notice to Patanjali Ayurved and Akash Yog Health Products for allegedly violating provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, and manufacturing, re-labeling and marketing Patanjali atta noodles without valid approval.
Patanjali Ayurved, the FMCG venture promoted by yoga guru Ramdev, has launched 70-gram pack atta noodles priced at Rs 15, claiming it to be cheaper than other competitors, with an eye to take on market leader Nestle's Maggi, which is back in shelves five months after FSSAI had banned it. Patanjali had earlier strongly denied FSSAI's claims and insisted that it had licence for pasta, under which noodles fall as per the regulator's classification.
The company further said FSSAI has already admitted that it's no longer possible for the regulator to continue with the process of product approvals, which was facilitated through an advisory in May 2013. This followed a Supreme Court order in August this year that upheld an order of the Bombay High Court on the issue.
In June last year, FSSAI had banned Nestle's instant noodles Maggi. This was later lifted by the high court, which ruled that the product needs to be tested at three government-approved laboratories. A clean chit from these labs led to the relaunch of the noodles in November.