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FSSAI orders recall of Maggi variants; Singapore, Nepal ban imports

PTI 06 Jun 2015, 6:07:54 IST

New Delhi:  Cracking down on Swiss giant Nestle, the central food regulator FSSAI today banned all variants of Maggi noodles terming them as “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption while Singapore and Nepal also stopped sale of the famous ‘two-minute' noodles imported from India.

The government is of “confirmed” opinion that the product failed to adhere to safety norms and assured that no compromise will be done on food safety, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has given three days deadline to Nestle to submit the compliance report on its directive for recall of all nine approved variants of Maggi instant noodles as also ‘Maggi Oats Masala Noodles' which was being sold without approval.  

While the Singapore authorities have ordered local importers to temporarily suspend sale of Nestle's Maggi noodles imported from India, Nepal too has temporarily banned the import and sale of the product from India.

“Withdraw and recall all the nine approved variants of its Maggi instant noodles from the market having been found unsafe and hazardous for human consumption and stop further production, processing, import, distribution and sale ofthe saidproduct with immediate effect,” the FSSAI order said.  

The Health Ministry said that the analysis of reports from states revealed presence of lead in excess of the permissible level of 2.5 ppm and there was also misleading label of ‘no added MSG'.

Besides, the company also released ‘maggi oats masala noodles with tastemaker' without risk assessment and grant of product approval, the Ministry added.  

“We have come to the conclusion that the food safety and standards have not been adhered by Nestle company and Maggi products and that is why we have given instructions that all nine products (variants) should be recalled from the market,” Nadda said.

Unfazed by mounting trouble over the alleged presence of lead and MSG in Maggi noodles, Nestle today said the product is safe but is withdrawing it from the Indian market as “unfounded reasons” have created “confusion” affecting consumer trust.

Nestle global Chief Executive Paul Bulcke, who flew in from Switzerland to take stock of the situation after Maggi was banned in several states, said the company will cooperate with all authorities to resolve issues.