Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has filed a petition in the apex court against the Mumbai High Court order on lifting of ban on Nestlé’s Maggi noodles.
In this regard, a Nestlé spokesperson, confirmed, “It has been brought to our attention that the Supreme Court website has posted that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has filed a case against Nestlé India Ltd and others,” but added, “We have not been served a notice about this and are not yet aware of its content. However, we would like to reiterate that Nestlé India is confident of the quality and safety of Maggi noodles and so we will defend ourselves vigorously.”
Meanwhile, a source close to FSSAI, revealed, “The issue is upheld by FSSAI as the court asked Nestlé to provide samples for inspection. This could have been done using a neutral body, which can authenticate that the samples were collected under proper legal guidelines. Now, there was no neutral body present at the collection stage, (and that) opens a room or possibility that Nestle may have a hand in hand with inspection labs.”
He added, “The petition has also demanded that the authority should be allowed to use labs under the relevant law without giving preference only to using government-accredited labs which are few.”
However, defending its stand, Himanshu Manglik, communications manager, Nestlé India said, “All the processes are conducted under law. A designated officer from the authority has collected samples. Thus, everything went under compliance with orders issued by the honourable court.”
A Nestlé spokesperson informed, “In full compliance with the orders of the Mumbai High Court on August 13, 2015, Nestlé India relaunched Maggi noodles on Dhanteras day, November 09, 2015. The efforts to restart and bring Maggi noodles back to the market involved many thousands of people working across our factories, suppliers, agencies, distributors, and numerous small and large business entities. These entities and individuals had been adversely impacted during the last over five months that Maggi was not being produced.”
He further stated, “Maggi noodles are already available in over 100 towns and sold by about 100,000 small and large shopkeepers, has delighted consumers. At Nestlé India, we reiterate that quality and food safety are non-negotiable and that Maggi noodles has always been safe for consumption.”
Many people from the food industry said that such cases might result in huge losses as on the one hand, government was trying to create and offer a favourable environment to businesses in food processing, and on the other, such issues in India might make foreign players lose trust to invest in the industry.