Kanwardeep Singh| TNN |
- Lab test reports found ash content in excess to what was printed on the label of samples of Maggi products
- Of the total fine of Rs 62 lakh, court levied Rs 45 lakh on Nestle India, Rs 15 lakh on distributors and Rs 2 lakh each on two sellers
SHAHJAHANPUR: The court of additional district magistrate in Shahjahanpur has imposed a total fine of Rs 62 lakh on consumer goods giant Nestle and its distributors and sellers after a laboratory report confirmed presence of ash content higher than the permissible limit in samples of Maggi noodles.
Seven samples were collected and sent for testing at a laboratory in Lucknow in 2015 and the report was received in 2016, following which seven cases were lodged at the ADM‘s court. Of the total fine, the court has levied Rs 45 lakh on Nestle India, Rs 15 lakh on distributors and Rs 2 lakh each on two sellers. The court order comes after alleged excessive lead content in Maggi created a major controversy in 2015, and the popular noodles brand was banned for five months in the country.
However, a Nestle India spokesperson told TOI, “We strongly reiterate that Maggi noodles are 100% safe for consumption. While we have not received the orders passed by the adjudication officer, we have been informed that the samples are of 2015 and the issue pertains to ‘ash content’ in Noodles. This appears to be a case of application of incorrect standards, and we will file an appeal urgently once we receive the order. In 2015, Nestle India and other companies had represented to the relevant authorities, via industry associations, to set standards specific to instant noodles to avoid confusion amongst enforcement officers and consumers. The standards have since been introduced and the product complies with these standards. We regret the confusion it may cause to consumers.”
The food safety department had collected seven samples of Maggi noodles and pasta in 2015 and the samples were sent to Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA), Lucknow, which got them tested at its food analysis lab. The lab test reports found ash content in excess to what was printed on the label of samples of Maggi Masalanoodles, Maggi Nutrilicious Pazzta and Maggi Attanoodles. The lab test report was submitted in the court of ADM.
The sample of Maggi Masala noodles from the shop of one Rinku Gupta had 2.54% of ash content, excluding salt in the Tastemaker. Ash percentage of 2.60% was found in the tastemaker of Maggi Atta noodles and Maggi Pazzta samples were found to have ash percentage of 1.2. Four samples of Maggi Masala, two samples of Maggi Pazzta and a sample of Maggi Atta noodles failed the lab test.
“Ash content in Maggi samples exceeded the prescribed limit of 1%. Maggi is consumed mostly by children and playing with the health of people by providing sub-standard products is something that cannot be pardoned under any circumstances,” said ADM JK Sharma while levying the fines.