Gujarat, J&K, Tamil Nadu join Maggi ban wagon


Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir Governments on Thursday have banned the sale of Nestle’s instant noodle brand ‘Maggi’ for a month after the product failed the food safety test.

The Tamil Nadu government also banned sale, storage and manufacturing of Maggi and three other brands of noodles for three months.

The Gujarat government has also asked the company to withdraw all its stock of Maggi from the state.

Apart from Maggi, Gujarat also tested one sample each of instant noodles of Sunfeast and S.K. Foods and has banned the latter for a month as high lead content of 4 PPM was found in it.

“Twenty seven samples collected from different parts of the state were tested by Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration. The test has shown that lead was present above the prescribed limit while Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) was also present,” Gujarat Health Minister Nitin Patel said.

Of the 27 samples, lead content in 14 of them was found to be 2.8 PPM to 5 PPM (particle per million), which is above the prescribed limit of 2.5 PPM. Presence of excess lead is harmful for health, he said.

“Monosodium glutamate, which should not be present in the product, was found in all the samples tested. For these reasons, the government has banned the sale and distribution of Maggi noodles for one month in the state. The government has also informed Nestle to withdraw all its Maggi stock from Gujarat,” Patel said.

The minister also appealed to retailers not to sell Maggi and also asked consumers not to consume it.

He said the health department will conduct inspections across the state to enforce the ban and action will be taken against those selling the product in any part of the state.

Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir are the third and fourth states to ban Maggi after Delhi and Uttarakhand. It has also banned noodle products of S K Foods.

“Sample of Sunfeast passed the lead test, but traces of monosodium glutamate were found in it. We will test more samples of Sunfeast before taking any action on its instant noodle,” he said.

Paswan says action sure if samples found unsafe

Earlier, Union Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan said action against the product and people endorsing it will be taken if samples are found unsafe for consumption.

“When I came to know about Maggi issue I directed the department and the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) to look into the facts and initiate action,” Mr. Paswan told reporters.

“Apart from the department, I have directed National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) to initiate action immediately because this is a serious issue,” he said.

Besides, the people who are endorsing the brand are also liable to face action, added Paswan.

“The action can be take under Consumer Protection Act’s section 12 (1)(d) by NCDRC and section 53 by FSSAI ,” the Minister said.

“As far as Maggi is concerned, it comes under the jurisdiction of states and different states including Delhi

have initiated action against it,” Mr. Paswan said.

“I have also got to know that Gujarat had also sent samples for laboratory testing”, he said.

Mr. Paswan said this is the first ever case in India that the issue of substandard and unsafe food was being referred to the commission.

“We will bring some stringent provisions in consumer protection act especially in the case of misleading

advertisements and e-shopping issues”, he said.

On Wednesday, Delhi banned sale of Maggi for 15 days while Uttarakhand and Gujarat today banned its sale. Several other states have taken its samples for laboratory tests.

Maggi’s sale was also stopped in Big Bazaar outlets.

Over 1,000 army and navy canteens were asked to keep aside existing stocks of the popular snack Maggi noodles until further orders.

» In April, the food regulator of Uttar Pradesh, UP FDA had ordered recall of a batch of about 2 lakh packs of the Maggi instant noodles due to higher than permitted levels of lead and food additives.
» After Uttar Pradesh, 14 states conducted tests on samples of Maggi for food safety. Five states, including Delhi, have banned it.
» On May 29, taking a “serious” note of quality issues related to global giant Nestle’s famous noodle brand Maggi, the government asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to look into the matter. The FSSAI has collected more samples of Maggi from different states for testing.
» Meanwhile, Hindi actors Madhuri Dixit, Amitabh Bachchan and Preity Zinta, who endorse Maggi were served legal notice on the claims made in the advertisement. A complaint was filed in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Barabanki, on May 30, by lawyer Santosh Kumar Singh, saying that by endorsing Maggi the film stars have misled people. The Consumer Affairs Ministry Additional Secretary G Gurucharan says “brand ambassadors would be liable for action if advertisements are found to be misleading.”
» On May 30, Madhuri Dixit tweeted that she met officials of Nestle and the company has reassured that “they adhere to stringent testing for quality and safety and are working with the authorities closely.”
» The same day, the Food Safety and Drug Administration of the U.P. government filed a case against the manufacturing company, Nestle India Ltd., and five others, including the Barabanki store from where samples with excess lead were seized.
» The Uttarakhand Food Safety Department too collected samples of the noodle brand from the company’s plant at Pantnagar in the State. Confirming the presence of MSG, the state banned Maggi.
» Nestle India said it has got tested samples of the noodle brand in an external laboratory as well as in-house and the product has been found “safe to eat” with lead levels within the permissible levels for consumption. The company was, however, silent on presence of the taste enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG).
» Nestle India’s stocks continued to slumpamid growing concerns about safety standards of its popular Maggi noodles. In a BSE filing, the company said it has not received any order from the central or any state FDA authority for recall of its Maggi noodles.
» State-owned retail outlets in Kerala and Delhi have banned the sale of Maggi. Leading retail chain Big Bazaar has also reportedly taken them off from its shelves.
» Army has issued advisory to its personnel asking them not to eat Maggi noodles and directed its canteens not to sell them till further orders.

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