Maggi noodles may be substandard, but not unsafe, Nestlé India told the Bombay high court on Tuesday, while arguing against the ban on the product.
A division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice BP Colabawalla was hearing a petition filed by Nestlé India, after the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banned all nine variants of Maggi on June 5 this year.
Senior counsel Iqbal Chagla, appearing for the company, said the Maharashtra food and drug administration (FDA) analyst found Maggi noodles ‘unsafe’ after concluding that only five of the 20 samples had lead content that was higher than the prescribed limit. The FDA cleared the other 15 samples.
Chagla said FSSAI being the regulator should have considered and examined this and not given a knee-jerk reaction by banning the product. He said if there was a health risk attached to the product it may be because it is substandard, but it is not unsafe.
Senior counsel Darius Khambatta, representing the state and the FDA, will put forth his arguments on Wednesday.
The FSSAI banned Maggi stating it has noted three ‘major violations’, namely the presence of lead detected in the product in excess of the maximum permissible levels; misleading labelling information on the package reading ‘No added MSG’ and the release of a non-standardised food product ‘Maggi Oats Masala Noodles with Tastemaker’ in the market, without risk assessment and the grant of product approval.