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Controversy cooking again? Paswan hopes Maggi will be back soon

Consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday said he was hopeful that Maggi would be back on the shelves soon, a day after the food regulator said it did not give any clean chit to the Nestle product.

business Updated: Aug 07, 2015 00:39 IST
HT Correspondent
Maggi noodles
File-photo-of-packets-of-Nestle-s-Maggi-instant-noodles-at-a-shop-Reuters-Photo

The controversy over Maggi noodles is cooking again.

Consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday said he was hopeful that Maggi would be back on the shelves soon, a day after the food regulator said it did not give any clean chit to the Nestle product.

“The latest tests conducted by the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) have found Maggi safe. I have a gut feeling it will return to retail shelves soon,” Paswan said on the sidelines of an Assocham event.

On Wednesday, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) rejected findings of the Food & Drugs Laboratory of Goa as well as CFTRI of Mysore citing lapses in tests, and said that the June 5 ban was still on. Shares of Nestle India plunged over 5% on the BSE on Thursday following the FSSAI’s statement.

The regulator also cast doubts over clean chit to Maggi by the UK and Singapore labs, saying the Swiss food giant has not shared details of foreign test reports.

Stating that the government will take into account consumer interest first while deciding on the Maggi ban, Paswan expressed concern over the negative perception such developments have created on potential foreign investors.

“I am worried. After Maggi ban the perception of people changed. Foreign investors will also now think twice before investing in India. Our credibility is at stake,” he said. “The concerns of our consumers are the most important,” he added.

“The Prime Minister have also said that whatever people say, we should maintain decorum on this issue (Maggi). Until we do not get the fact findings done, there is no need to create unnecessary noise,” he said.

Stressing on the need for a single-coordinated body to look into overlapping issues into the food sector, Paswan said it would also help in faster clearances from various ministries and departments.

The FSSAI banned the sale of Maggi in June after finding high amount of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the samples. Following the ban, Nestle withdrew all variants of the noodle, but continued to maintain that its products were safe. The matter is currently in the Bombay High Court.

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