Maggi's 'extra delicious chicken' variety banned for thirty days, will take call on other varieties after tests: Assam Health department
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati/ New Delhi, June 4: Assam today banned the 'Maggi extra delicious chicken' noodles for thirty days as Nestle India, the manufacturer of the popular sck, continued to face country-wide scrutiny following lab reports that the samples of the sck had excess quantity of lead.
Assam's Principle Secretary (health) Sanjeev Kumar said the food alysis of the Maggi product showed that it not met the food safety standards. "We have baned it for thirty days. We are also testing other products. We will take a call on after receiving their tests reports," Kumar said.
Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday also joined Delhi in banning the popular sck.
On its part, Nestle India said that tests done in a laboratory in Kolkota showed that the lead content in Maggi is within the limits prescribed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The Gujarat FDA on Thursday banned Maggi noodles for 30 days after samples failed tests. Health Minister Nitin Patel told the media about the ban after 27 out of 39 samples were detected with high levels of lead, among other things.
The Jammu and Kashmir government also imposed a ban on the sale of Maggi noodles on Thursday and directed Nestle India to remove all stocks from local markets.
Facing the heat, Nestle India presented on its website the results of the tests of its samples at some food laboratories.
"We regularly monitor all our raw materials for lead, including testing by accredited laboratories. These results have consistently shown lead in Maggi to be within safe limits," Nestle India said on its website.
It said that test reports revealed that less than 0.05 milligrams of lead was present per kilogram while the maximum permissible level was 2.5.
Nestle India also sought to answer in detail possible queries about Maggi.
"We are confident that our Maggi noodle products in India and elsewhere are absolutely safer for consumption," it said.
On the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG), which the product label says "No added MSG", Nestle stated: "We do not add the flavour enhancer MSG (E621) to Maggi noodles."
The Delhi government had on Wednesday banned Maggi noodles for 15 days after 10 of 13 samples of Maggi were found to contain more than permissible limists of lead. On Thursday Delhi government sent samples some other noodle brands including Top Ramen and Chings' Hakka for tests. A Delhi government official said that samples have been sent for testing to the laboratories accredited to and recognised by the central government.
In Ahmedabad, Union Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan said that he had asked his department as also the FSSAI to look into the facts following the controversy.
He said the government had filed a complaint against Nestle India with the tiol Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
The Central Advisory Committee (CAC) of FSSAI also met in the capital to discuss reports of excessive lead in Maggi.
Nestle India stocks were dented in the mid-afternoon trade session on Thursday.
With consumers wary of Maggi noodles, sale of the sck, which has been a part of the Indian palate for over 25 years, has taken a hit with many stores and chains removing it from their shelves.
The Indian Army has issued an advisory against eating Maggi and for its canteens not to sell it till the air was cleared about its contents.