Bombay High Court lifts ban on Maggi

Thu 13 Aug 2015, 12:04:41
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday lifted the ban on Maggi noodles by setting aside the orders of food authorities. A division bench if Justices VM Kanade and BP Colabawalla deemed the orders of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) "arbitrary, unjust and violative of article 14 of the Constitution."

It directed re-testing of Maagi samples within six weeks in three accredited labs in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Jaipur. "After examining rivals contentions, we have come to the conclusion that principles of natural justice were not followed and on that ground alone the petition is allowed, particularly when the petitioner had given a press release a day before the ban that it had recalled the products," the court observed.

In June, Swiss food manufacturer Nestle India had filed petitioned to the court seeking revocation of the ban on Maggi noodles and quashing of the order of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

which had declared the product unsafe.

The food regulator FSSAI contended that it can take action against food manufacturers on the basis of mere suspicion about the quality of their food products. Maggi products were deemed unsafe due to major violations, such as misleading labelling on msg (monosodium-glutamate), presence of lead in excess and launching of oats tastemaker without assessment. The Maharashtra government argued that the company had not followed the due procedures under the Act Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

Nestle India, on the other hand, sought to discredit the entire testing procedures saying that the labs testing Maggi samples were not accredited to test for lead content and there was wide variation in the results in different States.

Following the ban, Nestle started to recall Maggi products from the market. The company destroyed over 25,000 tonnes of Maggi.

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