Karnataka and Gujarat governments on Monday lifted over a four-month-old ban on the sale of Nestle India’s ‘Maggi’ brand of noodles with immediate effect.
Karnataka health minister UT Khader, however, said the government will take measures to prevent sale of old stock of noodles and allow only the sale of fresh production.
“The state health department has decided to permit the sale of Maggi noodles as there has been no clear direction from the Centre on its ban. Moreover, we have not received any adverse report or comments from the central laboratory in Kolkata,” Khader said.
Nestle India had said last week that its Maggi brand had cleared all the lab tests at three places as per the orders of the Bombay High Court.
Gujarat Food and Drug Control Authority (FDCA) said it lifted the ban on the sale of ‘Maggi’ noodles after the Bombay High Court lifted the nationwide ban on it in August.
“FDCA had lifted the ban on Maggi in Gujarat during August after the Bombay High Court passed an order to lift the ban across India. We took the decision based on the court order,” Gujarat FDCA commissioner HG Koshia said.
On June 5 this year, the Karnataka government had imposed a ban on sale of Maggi noodles following a direction from the central government. Many states had reported that their labs had found lead and MSG (monosodium glutamate) beyond permissible limits in the product.
The state government had sent Maggi samples to the Kolkata lab four months ago. But, till now, they have not given their report on it, Khader said.
No laboratory in the country has fixed any parameters on how much should be the limit of lead in noodles. The government will allow the sale of fresh production of Maggi noodles after it is cleared by the laboratories once again.
“We will take all precautions to ensure that the public health is not compromised by the company,” Khader clarified.
“The state government had banned sale of Maggi noodles following a direction from the central government in view of the safety of public health. However, we have not received any clear guidelines on continuing with the ban,” the state health minister said.
He said following the ban on Maggi, about 500 persons had lost jobs in the state. Nestle India, the makers of Maggi noodles, have a manufacturing plant at Nanjangud in Mysuru district.
In Gujarat, Maggi is still not available in markets, as the company is following court order to get its samples tested from three approved laboratories.
The state government had in the first week of June banned Maggi sale in the state after the product failed the food safety test. The government had also asked the company to withdraw all its stock of Maggi from the state.