High lead and MSG content: Delhi bans the product for 15 days
Pankaj Kumar | June 3, 2015
The Maggi brand of noodles, manufactured by multinational firm Nestle, is in a deeper soup. What started with a safety test last month in Uttar Pradesh is now expanding to more states, as authorities ordered tests, suspecting high lead and MSG (monosodium glutamate) content in the popular instant-food product.
Nestle India, meanwhile, has accused the media of negative reporting. It claimed on Tuesday that it regularly monitors the content of lead and MSG in its raw materials through accredited labs and it has always been within the permissible limits.
The food safety and standards authority of India (FSSAI) has asked all states to carry out tests on all variants and food products of the Maggi brand and submit their reports by June 5.
On Tuesday, the Delhi government banned the sale of Maggi for 15 days and asked the company to clear its stocks after it found high levels of lead and MSG in samples, even as Nestle officials met the state’s health minister Satyendra Jain.
Maggi samples are being collected and tested in several states including Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra. In Telangana 22 samples have been collected and results are expected in 14 days. Maharashtra authorities have said they found no violation of permissible limits in the sample collected in the state so far. Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have also ordered lab tests, whereas the West Bengal food department convened a high-level meeting to take a view on the development.
The centre too has stepped in the controversy and said it will probe the matter. Consumer affairs, food and public distribution minister Ram Vilas Paswan said, “The company will be punished if excessive amount of lead and MSG is found in Maggi.”
The controversy started last month when the UP food and safety and drug administration asked Nestle to withdraw Maggi noodles manufactured in February 2014 as samples of that batch were found to be containing high levels of Lead and MSG.
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