Centre moves consumer panel against Nestle India

Maggi off Army canteens, 15-day ban in Delhi, Kerala samples safe

Centre moves consumer panel against Nestle India

The Centre on Wednesday filed a complaint against Nestle India, makers of Maggi Noodles, by invoking a provision in the Consumer Protection Act 30 years after the law came into existence.

Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ramvilas Paswan said a complaint has been filed with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) to protect consumers interests.

The suo motu action by the ministry came after the Delhi government banned the sale of Maggi for 15 days after tests revealed high levels of lead in some samples.

The Delhi government has now ordered sample testing of all brands of noodles available in the city.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had ordered a country-wide testing of samples in the wake of reports of higher level of lead and monosodium glutamate in Maggi.

“Since there would be a delay in getting reports from the FSSAI and since it is concerning consumers, we have decided to file a complaint before NCDRC,” said Paswan.

NCDRC will look into the matter and take appropriate action, he added. Paswan also said that rising fast food consumption may have health risks. “In cities like Mumbai, 25 per cent of the people do not eat at home. With rise in consumption of fast food items, there is also health risks. Maggi is eaten mostly by children,” the minister added.

“There are chances that there are problems with this particular batch of Maggi noodles. So the company is being given a chance to replace the stock in Delhi,” said Health Minister Satyendra Jain. Agencies reported that Big Bazaar has not only taken Maggi off the shelf, but also Sunfeast YiPPee, Chaudhary Group’s Wai Wai noodles and Top Ramen.

The Army has suspended sale of Maggi in its canteens and has asked its personnel to avoid the popular snack.

Tests in Kerala, however, found that lead content in Maggi was within the permissible limit.

“Samples of three varieties of Maggi Noodles were tested at a laboratory in Kochi and the results showed that lead content was within permissible limit,” said Joint Commissioner, Food Safety, D Asharafudeen. An official in Goa said the samples were not harmful.

The Punjab government on Wednesday announced that it was collecting samples of Maggi noodles for testing.

The Rajasthan government has issued directions to launch a week-long campaign for collecting samples of the product and get it tested in state laboratory.

Rajasthan Medical and Health Minister, Rajendra Rathore, said that around 1,200 Maggi packets were destroyed in Nagaur district.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi directed the state health department to submit a report on the issue.

The Food & Drug Administration of Gujarat has also collected 37 samples of Maggi and sent them to laboratory for testing.

The Maharashtra government has decided to test Maggi samples too. The reports would be available on Friday.

The Telangana government has ordered intense testing of the product at the Institute of Preventive Medicine.

Nestle India has denied that Maggi is unsafe. In a recent statement, the company said that it had samples tested in an internal and an external laboratory which had found the product “safe to eat”.

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