After much contention and backlash over excess lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in Maggi Noodles, Nestle India has decided to take it off the shelves, but with a promise to bring it back soon.
Here’s the official statement:
“MAGGI Noodles are completely safe and have been trusted in India for over 30 years. The trust of our consumers and the safety of our products is our first priority. Unfortunately, recent developments and unfounded concerns about the product have led to an environment of confusion for the consumer, to such an extent that we have decided to withdraw the product off the shelves, despite the product being safe.
We promise that the trusted MAGGI Noodles will be back in the market as soon as the current situation is clarified.”
Here’s a quick recap of how it all went down: The story began when the Uttar Pradesh food authorities conducted some random sampling of Maggi Noodles and found lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) to be way beyond permissible limits. They found a lead concentration of 17.2 parts per million (ppm), while the permissible limit is somewhere between 0.01 ppm and 2.5 ppm.
As other states proceeded for independent testing, a few people were caught in the crossfire: it’s present and past brand ambassadors. A Bihar court filed an FIR against Madhuri Dixit, Amitabh Bachchan and Preity Zinta for endorsing Maggi Noodles. In fact, Madhuri Dixit also received a notice from the Haridwar Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over claims made in her advertisement over the products many health benefits.
Soon after the testing, a few states came out with the results. The Maggi Ban Wagon: The Delhi government found lead levels to be beyond permissible limits and was the first to issue a ban on Maggi Noodles for 15 days. In Mumbai, a retailers association ordered all members to immediately stop stocking or selling Maggi noodles till all doubts over its safety are cleared.
Tamil Nadu government decided to ban Maggi noodles for three months after its tests found lead twice above the permissible limit. Uttarakhand, Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir also joined the bandwagon. And finally, the Nepal government decided to impose a ban on importing and selling of Maggi noodles in its market for an undefined period.
Walmart India has nnounced that Maggi noodles were taken off its shelves in view of food safety. Vice President, Rajneesh Kumar said that that Walmart's policy requires all their suppliers to have valid Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) licenses. Other retail chains like Big Bazaar and Kendriya Bhandar have also withdrawn Maggi noodles from their stores.