NCDRC orders retesting of 16 Maggi noodles samples

By: | Updated: December 10, 2015 9:49 AM

NCDRC, however, said it will finalise the accredited laboratory for Maggi retesting after Nestle's counsel raised objections about the testing in the Export Inspection Council of India, Mumbai.

Maggi noodlesMaggi retesting: NCDRC said it will finalise the accredited laboratory after Nestle?s counsel raised objections about the testing in the Export Inspection Council of India, Mumbai, saying the lab is incompetent to test the samples for lead. (Photo: PTI)

In a blow to Nestle India, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) on Wednesday ordered retesting of 16 samples from 31 batches of popular Maggi instant noodles to check safety of its consumption.

However, it said it will finalise the accredited laboratory after Nestle’s counsel raised objections about the testing in the Export Inspection Council of India, Mumbai, saying the lab is incompetent to test the samples for lead.

A bench headed by Justices VK Jain asked the company to file its objections to the Mumbai lab by Thursday.

It said that after the samples are tested the lab will inform it about monosodium glutamate and lead (MSG) content in Maggi samples.

The order was passed on the government applications seeking testing of 31 samples of Masala variant of the noodles seized by Food Security and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) from Uttar Pradesh.

The government had given a list of three FSSAI accredited labs including Export Inspection Council of India, Mumbai, after the court had asked it to identify a lab that it deemed fit to conduct the tests.

The apex consumer court rejected the Nestle’s opposition that no further testing is required to be done as there were enough reports giving clean chit to the product. Nestle India requested the court that they wait until the report of the earlier testing was presented and any further testing may be based on the findings in that report.

Tests were already ordered and conducted on October 15 on 13 samples of Maggi noodles from nine batches on a request by the government’s counsel.

These samples were sent to the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysuru, Karnataka, though the test results haven’t been presented before the apex consumer court yet.

However, Justice Jain had said that the purpose of the consumer forum is to find the truth and keeping in mind the interest of the consumers it can ask for further reports to determine that goods are not defective/injurious to health.

The class action suit was filed by the government, accusing the company of unfair trade practices. The firm’s failure to disclose the presence of risk-increasing ingredients was deceptive and misleading, the complaint filed through the consumer affairs department said, while accusing Nestle India of promoting noodles containing excessive lead as healthy with the sole aim of enhancing profits.

After a five-month ban on its Maggi instant noodles by the national food watchdog, Nestle relaunched its product in the market on November 9.

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