Maggi and its variants, once the most beloved of all fast food, saw the wrath of consumers and followers turning up and against. Tests that revealed high lead and MSG content in Maggi soon went on to become the battle cry of the entire nation calling for an instant ban on the instant noodles. Soon after Maggi and the variants had to be withdrawn from shelves of markets around the country and were burnt. Celebs who endorsed Maggi also faced allegations and charges of misleading people. We almost cremated everything related with Maggi. Now that there are rumours about Maggi being approved and preparing a comeback, some are pleased while others not so pleased. In fact, going by the proceedings of Bombay High Court, those that sued Maggi are going to be put to question for disregarding natural justice. Amid talks of natural justice and its violations, the real cause of ban is shadowed and the anger for the brand is somehow changing into pity, for the multinational brand is now shown as a victim. They can now press charges on the government. Amid all these legal battles, should Maggi be allowed to return to shelves?
– After the tests of samples by FSSAI, Nestle followed the obligations to stop the production, processing, import, distribution and sale of the product immediately. Stocks were withdrawn from shelves and burnt soon after. It is clear that they destroyed the contaminated products and fresh production would take care of the standards for food safety. After a new test of the fresh batches, if they are shown clear for consumption, there is no reason why Maggi should be prevented from coming back to business.
– FSSAI and the Maharashtra FDA ordered the ban without a show-cause notice. Nestle has take this matter very seriously and is now accusing the food safety department of hurling them with unnecessary and false allegations that had put their reputation of ages at stake. This is true and a pity to know that the officials do not follow the legal proceedings accurately before they pass resolutions and ban orders. Nestle is fighting back for its rights which cannot be denied to them.
– Nestle has also alleged that the laboratories in India under FSSAI and FDA are not competent enough to carry out such tests which could accurately find out the level of lead and MSG in food products. To prove its allegations on the incompetence of laboratories and their tests, Nestlé reports tests of Maggi samples in countries where they were exported. Uk, Singapore, US, Australia and Canada reported that the lead content in Maggi imported from India were within permissible limits. The samples met their respective food safety standards and these countries have confirmed that Maggi does not pose any threat to health.
– It was found that required accreditations for testing lead content in food was missing from these accredited and notified laboratories where tests were carried out.
– Accredited and notified laboratories that should test the samples are alleged for not following the testing procedure accurately. There are agreements that the product was tested separately – noodles and tastemakers and that they should have been tested together as a package. Reports of tests at Avon Food Lab (Pvt.) Ltd are still in doubt.
– Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has alleged that Nestlé has been involving in conspiracies to hide itself. Nestle has been destroying evidence that could determine the high lead content in their products. The allegations would have been meaningless if Nestle had not bee in such a hurry to burn thirty thousand tonnes of Maggi noodles which were worth around Rs320 crore. It is clear that they intended to destroy evidences of their conspiracy of food contamination.
– Lead and MSG are no regular contaminations that could be ignored. In public interest for their good health and prevention of grave diseases, banning Maggi was a good measure. Even if Maggi now ensures that the fresh products would be safe, they cannot be forgiven for playing with our health.
– If Nestlé wanted to appeal against the tests, they could have done that back in June. There could have been proper procedure following if they did not rely on the test results. But instead, Nestlé took all the time never really condemning the result in the first place, only to come back later with a petition attached with support from tests carried in exported version. Did Nestlé find no Indian laboratory suitable enough to carry their tests with accuracy? This in itself shows deep conspiracy which must not be given a stage once again.
Solely for the sake of profit making, manufacturers indulge in enhancing the taste of food products and in turn present us with a packet full of lead and harmful MSG. They care less what the impact could be. But at the same time, our food inspecting department is too lazy to keep a check on these food products and their so-called-healthy variants. All the courtroom drama between Nestlé and FSSAI could continue for another decade for all we know of the speedy judiciary of our country but all these years we surely want to be kept aloof off any any such food contamination. A strong verdict against food contamination should be issued so that other brands could pay more heed to what they offer in the name of taste and health in easy to cook packets.
GD Second Topic for 22nd Aug,15