Voices Wednesday, June 03, 2015 - 05:30
  Nestlé, the Vevey (Switzerland) based food conglomerate has said their Maggi Noodle products in India and elsewhere are absolutely safe for consumption. “We are currently engaging with different authorities in India, both at federal and state levels, to clarify the situation,” Nina Caren Krutchen, a senior spokesperson at the headquarters told The News Minute (TNM).  “We understand how unsettling some of the current confusion is for our consumers and we are working hard to resolve it,” she added. However, at the time off writing – several hours past the deadline – Nestlé has not responded to other questions from TNM.  These include one question relating to names of brand ambassadors of the noodles in other countries including Europe and America, the permissible ppm standards in the company’s home country Switzerland and what tracking and tracing systems exist in India. This is not privileged information and should have been readily available, especially in a crisis situation such as the one the company faces in India. Separately India-based ManglikHimanshu said levels of lead found in the noodles were those specified by food authorities in India which is 2.55 ppm (parts per million). In some of the packets that have now been pulled from stores and sent for testing ppm levels were reported to be as high as 17.2 ppm. Nestlé has also not responded to where there is an international standard for lead and MSG in food products or whether these are set by national authorities. Over the past ten days Maggi Noddles – promoted by Indian celebrities for its taste and speed of preparation and enjoyed by millions of Indians - has come in for censure as they have reportedly fallen short of safety standards including allowing packets to be sold well after the date of expiry. One lot which expired in November 2014 was also noted by the Indian authorities. As of June 3rd 2015, over 12 states in India have recalled the noodles and sent it for testing. Here is a carefully crafted primer from Nestlé on the situation in India.  http://www.nestle.com/aboutus/ask-nestle/answers/maggi-noodles-india-msg-lead-ban-recall   This is a developing story. All exchanges with Nestlé are by e-mail.
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