Five samples of Maggi noodles sent to a central government-run laboratory in Karnataka for re-analysis have been found safe for consumption, a top health official said on Tuesday but refused to give it a clean chit.
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Director of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Salim Veljee, said the negative result did not necessarily mean a clean chit for the company's product because of contrary findings made by other state and central government laboratories while testing the Nestle-manufactured noodles, which have been banned in Goa as well as across the country.
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"The samples of these noodles were subjected for a re-analysis of the said five Maggi noodle products at the Goa State Pollution Control Board laboratory at Patto, Panaji and the results of the analysis were found to be consistent with the findings of the Goa FDA Lab in declaring the lead contents to be below the permissible limit of 2.5 ppm and negative for MSG," Veljee said.
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Goa has already banned sale of Maggi from June 8 and several tonnes of Maggi noodles were destroyed after tests in state-run laboratories across the country revealed that the popular packed product had excess amounts of MSG and lead. While Maggi was banned across the country, Goa was one of the few states where the product tested negative for the two substances in two separate tests which were conducted here.
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On the instructions of the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India, which described the tests conducted in Goa as not up to the mark, fresh Maggi noodles samples were then sent to the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysore, Karnataka for another round of tests, which have only now confirmed the Goa FDA's results.
"CFTRI reports re-confirm the consistent analytical results findings of the State FDA Goa laboratory, in which all the said five samples of Nestle's Maggie are declared to be conforming to the requirements of the Food Safety and Standards Rules/Regulation 2011," Veljee said.
Lead in all the five samples was "reported to be well below the permissible limit as well as negative for the MSG in the said samples, which analysis was performed separately on the noodles and taste maker", he added.
Veljee, however, did not give a broad clean chit to the product claiming the Goa FDA "fully respects the analytical findings of other state laboratory in this regard based on the analysis of the samples that were drawn by the enforcement officials in those other States and analysed in their laboratories".