SC inquires Mysuru lab about Maggi lead content

Court puts matter for further hearing on April 5

SC inquires Mysuru lab about Maggi lead content

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the government lab at Mysuru to clarify if lead and glutamic acid in Maggi are within permissible parameters, saying food safety is its concern as the noodles are consumed more by the youngsters.

After going through the two test reports, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and N V Ramana said the lab should further clarify since the government as well as food regulatory authorities claimed the findings were not conclusive.

“We would like Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru, to apprise this court on two aspects, whether the test report relating to lead and glutamic acid are within the permissible parameters and to clarify if those are within parameters prescribed under the Food Safety Act,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Vibha Dutta Makhija, appearing for the Union government, claimed the 13 samples sent to the lab were on the basis of a direction by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. The two reports are not based on the direction by the apex court, she submitted.

The bench, however, said, “We are not passing any interim order. Let the lab clarify.”
 The court also said if the lab required for more samples for further testing, it could send requisition.

The samples would be collected from preserved stock at Lucknow under the presence of a court commissioner and the advocates from Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Nestle, promoter of Maggi.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Nestle, claimed the test reports clearly showed that the lead as well as MSG contents were within permissible limit.
“It is now an ego problem for the FSSAI. I am purely on reputation of the brand. Let them test on lead and MSG,” he said.

The court put the matter for further consideration on April 5. Acting on a plea by Nestle, the court had on December 16 stayed class suit filed by the Centre against the company and ordered for testing of samples of Maggi in the Mysuru lab.

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