In a new twist of events, Karnataka and Gujarat have lifted the ban on manufacture and sale of Maggi noodles, paying way for its return. The announcements by the two states came after a clean chit was given by three government-approved laboratories to Maggi noodles, which was banned by central food regulator FSSAI and various state-level watchdogs in June for high levels of lead and mislabeling regarding MSG.Last week, Nestle India confirmed that all 90 samples of Maggi cleared tests conducted by three laboratories, as mandated by the Bombay High Court. The company is now planning to relaunch the product soon. Few days ago, the front page of a leading newspaper showed off a clutter breaking advertisement Nestle India that goes on to reassure fans that they will be able to eat their favourite noodles soon. The company has also said that all the manufactured products from the new lot will undergo fresh tests at the three National Accreditation Board For Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) labs in Mohali, Jaipur and Hyderabad to confirm lead levels before being available in the market.In the past few months, Nestle has conducted around 3,500 tests with 200 million packs in national and international accredited laboratories and all reports have been found to be clear. Tests have also been conducted in other countries like the US, Britain, Australia and Singapore that found Maggi noodles manufactured in India safe for human consumption.The Congress-led Karnataka government decided to allow manufacture and sale of Maggi noodles in the state as it decided to withhold the Centre's directive banning it, claiming it lacked clarity. The state government would withhold the implementation of central order on not allowing the production and sale of Maggi because of lack of clarity on the permissible limits of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and lead, Karnataka Health Minister U T Khader told PTI reporters in Bengaluru.Similarly, the BJP-ruled Gujarat government has also lifted the ban on sale of Maggi. The Gujarat Food and Drug Control Authority (FDCA) announced that it lifted the ban on sale of Nestle India's 'Maggi' noodles after the Bombay High Court lifted the nationwide ban on it in August.According to sources, central food regulator FSSAI will go through test reports by three labs before taking any decision on lifting the ban it imposed in June this year. Earlier this year, FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles saying it was "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption after finding lead levels beyond permissible limits. The company had withdrawn the instant noodles from the market.Nestle India had challenged the ban by FSSAI in the Bombay High Court. In August, the court lifted the nation-wide ban imposed by the Indian food regulators on Maggi noodles but ordered a fresh test of samples of the product in three independent labs across India. The court had set aside the June 5 order of the Central government's Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). It also quashed the order of Maharashtra's Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) banning production and sale of Maggi noodles in India and the state. Nestlé will continue to collaborate with the FSSAI, the apex food regulator and other stakeholders, the company said.With inputs from PTI
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