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More on the Maggi Mess

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  6 Jun 2015 12:00 AM GMT

With Assam also banning the sale of Maggi noodles after four samples of Maggi noodles were tested and found to have monosodium glutamate (MSG) and lead in them, we have a fairly ratiol approach to what needs to be done when multitiol companies seek to jeopardize the health of our children with their popular processed food. So obsessed are we with the products and brand labels of foreign multitiol companies and our desire to live up with the Joneses that even the vestiges of consumer resistance appear to have died an ignoble death. This, and the fact that we live in a very corrupt society, must be evident from how Nestle India is getting clean chits in some States. The first is that it should have taken the Uttar Pradesh food inspectors a whole year to arrive at the fact that Maggi noodles contained MSG and several times the permissible limit of lead in them. They tested the samples taken from a shop in April 2014 but announced their alarming findings only in April this year. What could be the reason for such delay when such test results can be made public in a matter of just three days or at the most a week? Were the food inspectors bargaining for a whole year over what they expected to gain from clean chits? This is not an outlandish conjecture when one thinks of the number of States (including Kerala) that found nothing amiss with the same Maggi noodles. In a country where lakhs of images of gods and goddesses—with tonnes of lead in the paints used—are consigned to our rivers every year, it would not be surprising if all our food crops and vegetables contained a lot of lead. As such, it is virtually impossible for any food testing laboratory to claim that the same Maggi noodles are free of lead. However, it is possible in a very corrupt country to buy the kind of test report that one wishes to get. Our second (and real) problem is that we are all sold on the products manufactured by multitiols. We are prepared to swear by them ignoring the astronomical profits that multitiol make from our gullibility. If all other parents are feeding their children Maggi noodles, how can our own children be so unfashioble not to be eating the same? Who cares about consumer resistance? No wonder, Nestle India was able to sell 534 crore packets of Maggi noodles in India in 2014 alone and Nestle India’s annual turnover has been of the order of Rs 3,000 crore.

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