Nestlé’s noodles face another controversy in India


    Exclusive reports from New Delhi, India, claim food regulators to have had given another blow to food manufacturer, Nestle, by their latest findings depicting higher-than-permissible levels of ash in the food particles.

    Few months ago, Nestle resumed its popular packed food, noodles in India following a high criticism over its un-healthy ingredients.

    WEDNESDAY: As per statements provided to the press by an assistant commissioner at the state’s Food Safety & Drug Administration, Vijay Bahadur, a lawsuit was filed against food manufacture in northern state of Uttar Pradesh by food-safety inspectors where they alleged it of second-rate implications – after when an exceeding amount of ash content was found in samples of its Maggi 2-Minute Noodles.

    Upon this, Nestle said the ash in its noodles wasn’t hazardous for human consumption, instead were made up of residues from the oxidation of minerals like calcium + potassium.

    “Standards for macaroni products are being applied for instant noodles with seasoning which is erroneous and misleading. We categorically reiterate that testing of instant noodles against norms set for macaroni products will reflect in incorrect results and wrong interpretations.” – An email by Nestlé’s Indian arm

    Claims made by Nestle in that case to ensure health safety to its consumers, have once again been shattered; the Swiss giant had already begun to bypass food-safety turmoil barrier in India. Keeping this in discourse, it also raised concerns over testing delays in India’s overburdened and understaffed state-run laboratories. Lawyers for the company had argued in court that samples take several months to be tested, during which they could be contaminated. However, Vijay Bahadur says the samples of Nestlé’s noodles were collected from market in mid of last year.

    INSIGHT: Last year in June, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ordered Nestle India to withdraw all nine variants of Maggi instant noodles from the market terming them ‘unsafe and hazardous’ for human consumption. The company argued that CEO of FSSAI, while passing the order had acted in an ‘emergent, drastic and arbitrary’ fashion. It also argued that the food regulator had not served any notice before ordering the ban. Upon that, Bombay High Court ordered for some fresh tests to take place in five laboratories decided by the company and food authorities. Nestle India agreed to the proposal on the condition that the tests would be conducted only under the supervision of specific experts in the field that Nestle could provide. Later, court-ordered retesting of the noodles failed to find any lead or other harmful ingredients. Nestlé has resumed sales of the noodles in November.

    Exclusive reports from MarketWatch states Indian unit Nestle’s net profit to have had sliced by more than half last year – in comparison to 2014 – where sales plunged to 17%.

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