The UP officer who brought Nestle down to its knees
news Friday, June 05, 2015 - 05:30
It was last year during Holi that Sanjay Singh, Food Safety Officer in Uttar Pradesh, got samples of some food products sent to the government laboratory in Gorakhpur for routine tests. Along with chips and spices, the edibles sent for testing also included a pack of Nestle's Maggi which had been picked up from a local shop. At the time, Singh had no idea that the process he had set off would threaten to cripple the multinational organisation's reputation in over an year's time. In an exclusive interview to India Samvad, Singh said that when he first saw the results of the lab test which stated Maggi had high lead content, he thought it was a"typing error". To clear his doubts, and keeping in mind Nestle's brand name, another set of Maggi samples were sent for testing. This time it was also sent to the Central Food Laboratory in Kolkata. The results came out to be the same. "My perception about Nestle was that the company produced a high quality of edibles and conformed to all norms of food safety. So how can a product like Maggi contain lead and MSG." Singh said they had not been "selective" while sending Nestle's Maggi for testing, and that the instant noodles was selected as it is "one of the most sought after food snack." "Let me make it clear, the issue became bigger because in the repeat tests the samples tested positive for lead and MSG," he told the news portal. The officer, who has a PhD in chemistry from Lucknow University and an MSC in organic chemistry from Lucknow Christian College, however feels that what he did was a part of his job and does not need any special appreciation. Singh also reiterated the harmful effects of lead and MSG and also blamed the increased consumption of fast food for increasing crime rate in the country, especially amongst youngsters, adds the report by India Samvad.