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Nothing objectionable in Maggi noodles in Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

IANS 05 Jun 2015, 19:05:44 IST

Kolkata:  The West Bengal government found nothing objectionable in the Maggi instant noodles during safety tests on the samples, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday.

"In Bengal, five samples were tested by our food safety department and three samples by Kolkata Municipal Corporation authorities. We found nothing objectionable in these tests," Banerjee said on the legislative assembly premises.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India on Friday ordered Nestle to withdraw and recall all variants of Maggi noodles.

On the other hand, Nestle's global chief executive officer Paul Bulcke asserted the popular snack was "safe", passing every independent test ordered by the company.

Banerjee, however, said there was need for more tests before the West Bengal government could arrive at a decision.

"Tests were conducted by both central and state labs and nothing objectionable was found. Had anything objectionable been found, we surely would have taken a stand. But so long as we don't find anything objectionable, we don't have any right to act," she said.

The chief minister also said the centre sent a circular about the ban on the product across India.

The central government today (Friday) sent a circular informing that Maggi noodles were banned on the basis of tests conducted in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Delhi, she added.

"The centre has banned it, but it is a subject on the concurrent list. I feel, taking a decision in haste - unless there is something to indict - is not appropriate. So, I feel there is need for further investigations," Banerjee said.

Earlier on Friday, Congress legislator Manoj Chakraborty accused the West Bengal government of being "unconcerned" and demanded tabling of test reports on Maggi instant noodles in the legislative assembly.

"It is the duty and responsibility of the state government to place these reports in the legislative assembly so that people know if the snack is safe or not," he said.

"Maggi is consumed mostly by children and youngsters, who are our future. So, I urge the state government to stop being unconcerned and take a proactive stand," Chakraborty added.

"When many states have banned it, and even retail stores are pulling the snack off the shelves, the state government is dilly-dallying on the issue," the former minister told the media.