Nestle India, which had earlier this year landed in trouble after its popular instant noodles Maggi was banned in India for containing excessive quantities of lead and had only recently resumed sales after the noodles cleared tests by accredited laboratories, seems to be staring at a fresh controversy.
A state-owned food testing laboratory in Uttar Pradesh, which tested samples of Nestle's pasta, found it to be carrying lead beyond the permissible limits, a state government official said according to a report by PTI .
The samples were collected on June 10 from Sriji Traders, a Nestle distributor in UP, and were then sent to a state-owned food testing laboratory in Lucknow, Arvind Yadav, Designated Officer at Food and Drug Administration Mau told PTI.
The report quoted him as saying, "After Maggi, the sample of macroni pasta was taken from Mau and sent to National Food Analysis Laboratory , Lucknow in which the lead was found to be much more that the permissible limit. According to report received on September 2, they failed the tests."
The officer added that while the standard limit of lead is 2.5 PPM (parts per million) it was found to be 6 PPM in the pasta samples. "On the basis of the report," he said, "this food product now comes under the 'unsafe food category'".
Though a letter was sent to Nestle India at its Modinagar address informing the company of the test results, Yadav said that the letter sent by "FDA was not received by the company and was returned here."
"The report has been sent to the FDA Commissioner (Lucknow) on October 12 for sanction to lodge a case and in case it is received it will be filed in the court of the CJM here," Yadav told the newspaper.
Nestle however said that its products are safe for consumption and that it was not aware of the results of the test conducted on its pasta samples by the state government-run lab, the report adds.