Bombay High Court Allows Nestle India to Export Maggi Noodles
NDTV Food | Updated: July 19, 2017 14:12 IST
Bringing some relief to Nestle India, the Bombay High court has allowed the company to export Maggi noodles. Senior counsel Iqbal Chagla appeared for Nestle and Anil Singh appeared for the state for a brief hearing where this decision was taken. The next hearing has been posted for July 14.
Advocate Sumedha Rao intervened in the matter, saying that Nestle India should come out with adequate funding to provide protection to consumers. However, the court did not allow her plea, saying that she can file a separate petition instead of intervening in Nestle's petition.
The popular snack has been battling a ban on sale within the country. On 5th June, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ordered a ban on nine variants of the popular instant snack. It questioned the company's safety claims after 30 out of 72 samples tested positive for dangerously high levels of lead and MSG, despite the packets mentioning 'no added MSG'.
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Nestle India challenged the claims of the food regulators and Maharashtra Commisioner of Food Safety and filed a petition against the ban. At the first hearing on June 12, the court had declined to grant relief to Nestle India by rejecting its plea for stay on ban. FSSAI and other respondents filed affidavits to oppose Nestle's petition seeking relief from the ban of Maggi products.Various samples that were collected and tested across the country showed that the lead content was beyond the permissible limit of 2.5 part per million (ppm). The company ran its own tests and found that the noodles were safe to eat yet it withdrew the packets from store while complying with the ban. These products when tested in other countries like Singapore, United Kingdom and Australia were found to be safe. The regulator had also ordered testing of other brands of noodles, pastas and macaroni to check compliance of norms.
(After Maggi Noodles, Other Instant Noodles and Pasta Brands to be Tested)
Meanwhile, Nestle India is in the process of recalling and destroying its existing samples. Supposedly the largest recall and incineration process in the history of India's food industry, it will take an estimated 1.4 million cartons and close to one thousand trucks for transportation purposes.
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The current capacity of destruction is 700 tonnes of Maggi noodles across five incineration facilities. Nestle's counsel Iqbal Chhagla said that the company would destroy about 17,000 crore packets of Maggi. Of these, 11,000 crore packets are being recalled from
the market. The company also gave an assurance that the entire process will be completed by the end of July.
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