Nestlé India on Monday said the government was on “a witch-hunt” wherein Union of India (UOI) was determined to find something wrong with the Maggi product despite “3,500” laboratories across the world having cleared the noodles for consumption.
The company’s averments came after the government’s lawyers — senior counsel Arvind Nigam along with advocate Mrinalini Sen told an apex consumer forum, which is apprised with UOI’s Rs 640-crore class action suit against Nestlé India, that it wanted to test 31 more samples of the instant noodle product.
The matter was posted to Tuesday at 2 pm after Nestlé’s lawyer senior counsel Iqbal Chagla told the top consumer forum that he had been taken by surprise by the request.
“Today, the product is in the market. It was tested at our insistence by labs abroad and here and all have given our product a clean chit,” he told National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC). Chagala added that the need for further testing arose because the products were made in different batches and some had expired.
However, Chagla objected saying that “Out of the 100, only 8 samples will expire. The rest will be fine, so what is the urgency?”.
To this, the government counsel replied that Nestlé was not prejudiced in any way by further testing. However, Chagla said that more testing would prejudice the company by creating doubt in the consumer’s mind. “It gives the impression that the original tests are not normal and more needs to be seen,” he told the bench.
Tests were conducted on October 15 on 13 samples of Maggi noodles from nine batches on a request by the government.