The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) on Tuesday allowed further testing of samples of Maggi noodles, following a request by the government, which has filed a Rs 640-crore class-action suit against Nestlé India for unfair trade practices.
Though the Union of India (UOI) had asked for further testing of 31 samples of Maggi products, including noodles, an NCDRC bench comprising justice VK Jain and justice BC Gupta allowed retesting of only 16 samples.
Nestlé had alleged that the UOI was attempting to improve its case by further testing Maggi products. “Can the government try and improve upon their case by saying that there’s a subsequent event that’s taken place and so without amending the complaint we will have to have further analysis of our product?” Nestlé’s senior advocate Igbal Chagla had asked.
In its petition, the department of consumer affairs had alleged that Nestlé India “indulged in unfair trade practices by false labelling of Maggi Noodles in as much as it states ‘No added MSG’ prominently on packet, despite presence of MSG”. Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is a salt used in the food industry for enhancing flavour.
The department had also said that the company sold “defective” goods to the public with the presence of lead and MSG, and indulged in unfair trade practices by offering to sell Maggi Oats Masala Noodles with tastemaker without risk assessment and product approval.
Among other things, it has sought a direction to the company to recall all “defective” and “hazardous goods” with respect to Maggi noodles and Maggi Oats Masala Noodles, which has tastemaker in all its variants.