The Punjab government on Saturday issued prohibitory orders to Nestle India Limited from manufacturing, distribution and sale of all nine approved variants of Maggi instant noodles from the company’s plant situated at Ferozepur Road, Moga with immediate effect.
The sale of these products has also been prohibited in Punjab state for a period of one year.
The company has also been directed to immediately withdraw and recall all nine approved variants of Maggi Instant Noodles with Tastemaker from the market.
The orders to this effect were issued here by Punjab Commissioner Food Safety, Hussan Lal.
Giving information in this regard Punjab health and family welfare minister, Surjit K. Jyani, stated that the step has been taken in view of the health of the people of state.
The Minister informed that Food Safety Officers of districts of Moga, Kapurthala, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar (Mohali), and Sangrur drew samples of the above product from various parts of the state and sent to the State Food & Drug Laboratory, Punjab, Chandigarh for analysis under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
As per the report of the Public Analyst, presence of Lead was found within the permissible limit (less than 2.5 ppm). However, the presence of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) was confirmed in the samples, whereas the same has not been declared on the label of the product, which is mandatory as per the provisions of the Regulation 2.4.5 (18) (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 Rules & Regulations, 2011.
Also a statement “No MSG added” has been declared on the label of the product, which is a clear violation of Section 24 of FSSA. Hence, the report of the Public Analyst has concluded that the product is Misbranded and Misleading.
An official spokesperson revealed that after thoroughly scrutinizing the reports submitted by the Public Analyst it has been observed that the Company has labeled the product “No Added MSG” while the test reports show the presence of MSG in each of these samples.
He told that as per Regulation 2.2.1:1 of the Food Safety & Standards (Packaging & Labeling) Regulations-2011 “Pre-packaged food shall not be described or presented on any label or in any labelling manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character in any respect”.
He added that it is amply clear that this sub-regulation prohibits any other information on the label other than what is otherwise provided for in the FSSR. It defies the common understanding as to why the Company has to make this assertion when it is not required to do so. The apparent reason for using such information on the label is observed to be driven by an undue commercial advantage to create an erroneous impression in the minds of consumers regarding the character of the product.
He said that the Company has been directed to comply with the Food Safety and Standards Act and the applicable regulations qua this product and after obtaining necessary approval from the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India, shall be at liberty to approach for review of this order.