Three days after Nestle India announced 100 percent safety clearance of Maggi noodle samples, the Gujarat government on Monday announced lifting of the ban on selling the popular food item, a top official said.
Gujarat Food and Drugs Control Authority (FDCA) Commissioner H.G. Koshia said the state government had lifted the ban – imposed in June – after the Bombay High Court order.
Earlier in June, the state FDCA had imposed the ban on Maggi noodles which was to remain in force till September, amid concerns over high lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) content.
After the Bombay High Court relief in mid-August, the FDCA also revoked its ban, Koshia told mediapersons.
A division bench comprising Justices V.M. Kanade and B.P. Colabawalla in August set aside the June 5 order of the FSSAI and also quashed an order of Maharashtra’s Food and Drugs Administration, banning production and sale of Maggi noodles in the country and the state.
While lifting the ban, the high court had directed the company to conduct fresh tests of its noodle samples in three independent laboratories in Punjab, Hyderabad and Jaipur within six weeks.
Last Friday, Nestle India announced that 100 percent of the Maggi instant noodles samples tested in three labs were cleared and the noodles are safe for consumption.
Armed with these reports, the Indian arm of the Swiss multinational food giant plans to soon resume the production of Maggi noodles.
“All 90 samples, covering six variants, tested by the three laboratories, are clear, with lead much below the permissible limits,” Nestle said last week.
Nestle assured it would continue to collaborate with the Indian food regulator, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and other stakeholders on the issue.
“In compliance with the Bombay High Court orders, we will now commence manufacture and will begin selling only after the newly manufactured products are also cleared by the three designated laboratories. We are committed to reintroduce our Maggi noodles (in the Indian market) at the earliest,” Nestle said.
In the past few months, Nestle conducted around 3,500 tests representing 200 million packs in national and international accredited laboratories and all reports were clear.
Besides, tests in several other countries like the US, Britain, Australia and Singapore also found Maggi noodles manufactured in India safe for human consumption.
In June, the FSSAI ordered a nationwide ban on the company’s noodles on the ground that these were “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption due to the presence of lead allegedly beyond permissible limits.
The MNC withdrew its instant noodles from the Indian market as a result and moved the Bombay High Court against the FSSAI ban.