news Friday, June 05, 2015 - 05:30
In a press conference in Delhi on Friday, Global CEO of Nestle Paul Bulcke defended its product Maggi but added that it was being “withdrawn due to confusion”. The product has been in the dock for reportedly having lead and MSG beyond permissible limits. “We do not add MSG in Maggi noodles, we will remove ‘No MSG’ from product label,” Bulcke was quoted as saying, referencing the fact that while MSG wasn’t added by Nestle, it couldn’t be held responsible if the levels were high after cooking. Several state governments including Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Bihar have imposed a ban on the product after the Uttar Pradesh government initially detected more than permissible levels of MSG and lead in Maggi. In the press conference, addressed by executives from Nestle, Bulcke has claimed that the company has tested close to 1000 batches of the product and has not found anything suspicious but is still withdrawing the product. Bulcke said that the company’s priority was regaining the trust of the consumer. “Our priority is to clarify on safety of product to authorities and be back on shelves as soon as possible,” he said. He added that the company follow the same standards across the world and are prepared to work with the government authorities in ensuring a safe product. Nestle has maintained that the high level of contamination due to lead was environmental. In a statement from Nestle to The News Minute, a spokesperson is quoted as saying that the Indian government lists Maggi as a “proprietary food”. “This means there is no specific product standard, but there are FSSR regulations on metal contaminants, crop contaminants and insecticide residues and the product complies with all these regulations,” he said.  The spokesperson added that there wasn’t any standard for food quality in India as there wasn’t in the EU or Switzerland either. FSSAI orders ban on consumption, import and sale of Maggi While the press conference was still underway, the Food Safety and Standard Authorities of India (FSSAI) called nine variants of the product “unsafe and hazardous” for consumption. PTI says that the FSSAI have also asked Nestle to recall the nine variants from the market and have asked the food company to stop the production, import and sales of Maggi noodles.  According to reports though, the FSSAI has declared the product unsafe and has said that Nestle launched the products “Maggi Oats and Masala Noodles” without prior permission from the government and without undertaking proper risk and safety assessments.