Nestle India, the manufacturer of Maggi instant noodles has told the Bombay High Court that it was ready for an independent lab testing of the product provided the tests were carried out in the presence of a reputed scientist. The division bench of Justices V M Kanade and B P Colabawala, while hearing Nestle's petition against the June 5 order of Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banning nine variants of Maggi, today asked whether the company was ready for fresh independent tests.
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Nestle's lawyer Iqbal Chhagla said the company was agreeable but the tests should be conducted in the presence of a renowned scientist and the samples available with the company should be used. Darius Khambata, appearing for Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration and the FSSAI counsel sought time till tomorrow to take instructions from their clients. Khambata also contended that one of the samples must be from the lot collected by state FDA.
The judges earlier said they proposed to order independent testing of Maggi, and sought the parties' views. The Nestle lawyer alleged that FSSAI and FDA had not followed the principles of natural Justice by not giving a hearing to the company before banning Maggi on the ground of lead content in it being beyond the permissible limit.(Beyond Maggi Noodles: Some of the Most Shocking Food Controversies)
Also, though only three variants were tested, the regulators banned all nine variants of Maggi, Chhagla said, adding there was no substance in the allegation of FSSAI about the company destroying evidence by burning Maggi stock. "On the contrary, we have acted on the instructions of the food regulators by destroying Maggi product," he said.