After a bitter fallout with the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) following the ban on its Maggi noodles, Nestle has proposed to collaborate with the national food regulator on the same contentious issue of food safety which had led to the ban.
“We have made an offer to the FSSAI chairman and CEO to set up food safety institutes and disseminating good practises on food safety. They will be coming out with number and structure. Their response to our proposal has been very positive,” Nestle chairman Suresh Narayanan said. He added that collaborating with the Indian government on subjects such as food safety is something that Nestle headquarters at Veveyis also keen on.
“If there are more opportunities to work together with the government, we will certainly take them forward,” he said.
“We’ll be happy to have our people work in any function on food safety with the government. As long as the government sees it as positive intervention, we will play to our strength in areas such as food safety,” he said.
While the FSSAI had banned Maggi last year in June on allegations of higher than permissible lead content and flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate, seven countries including the US had cleared its samples. The Bombay High Court overturned the ban in August last year and after clearing multiple tests, Maggi was back on stores last November.
“What happened, has happened. I don’t think we are going to be obliterated with the memory of what happened for all times to come,” Narayanan said.
FSSAI later moved the Supreme Court against Bombay High Court’s order lifting the ban on Maggi. Nestle, on its part, argued in court that FSSAI had acted in an “arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent manner”.