The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had banned Maggi in June.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had banned Maggi in June.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

Maggi episode reinforces need for upgrading food safety standards

The Maggi episode reinforces the case for upgrading and strengthening our food safety standards.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON OCT 21, 2015 11:47 PM IST

The tests done on Maggi at three government-accredited laboratories — in Hyderabad, Jaipur and Mohali — have vindicated the stand of Nestle chief executive officer Paul Bulcke, who had said at the time of the ban on the fast-food that there was no excessive lead in it.

The laboratories, under instructions from the Bombay high court, found the lead content below the permissible limits in all the 90 samples sent to it. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had banned Maggi in June. However, quashing the ban in August, the court said: “Principles of natural justice have not been followed before passing the impugned order and on that ground alone impugned orders are liable to be set aside, particularly when the petitioner (Nestle India), had given a press release that it had recalled the product …” The court had also said the food labs under the FSSAI were not “authorised” to do the tests.

This gives rise to many worrying problems. If the action of the FSSAI in performing the basic tests has been called into question by the court, it’s time for the government and the minister concerned, Ram Vilas Paswan, to take immediate action. After all it was Mr Paswan who had ordered the tests on Maggi. The UP Food and Drug Administration, the first organisation to raise an alarm over Maggi, on its part also did some tests. And if according to the court the FSSAI labs are not authorised to perform the tests, then who is supposed to do them? Did the FSSAI not do due diligence?

The matter had been referred also to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. Not much was heard thereafter. Shortly before the quashing of the ban by the court, Prime Minister Narendra Modi rightly asked his colleagues not to make “unnecessary fuss over the ban” till all the facts came to light. In that case, why was the ban imposed in the first place, more so in view of the fact that Nestle had agreed to recall the Maggi packets?

This paper had said at the time of the ban that India’s entire food chain was toxic and probably it might even be too late now to reverse the trend. After all that has happened since then, it must be reiterated that not only the regulator but also the consumer and manufacturer are made aware of the rules, and the food-testing laboratory infrastructure and skills strengthened and upgraded.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
India's Shardul Thakur (C) bowls to Australia's batsman Cameron Green on day four of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba, Brisbane, January 18, 2021 (AFP)
India's Shardul Thakur (C) bowls to Australia's batsman Cameron Green on day four of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba, Brisbane, January 18, 2021 (AFP)

A new team comes of age

UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 06:10 AM IST
There may be no greater test of character in sport than a Test match run chase
Close
A medical worker inoculates a nurse with a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine, Osmania General Hospital, Hyderabad, January 18, 2021. (AFP)
A medical worker inoculates a nurse with a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine, Osmania General Hospital, Hyderabad, January 18, 2021. (AFP)

Autopsy of a pandemic: Hold China, WHO accountable

By
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 06:11 AM IST
The findings of a new report are an affirmation of what has long been regarded — but not acknowledged — as damaging negligence by Beijing and WHO
Close
Farm unions have not responded to the government’s offer to amend the laws, or to the Supreme Court’s directive to cooperate with a committee meant to examine the issue in detail (PTI)
Farm unions have not responded to the government’s offer to amend the laws, or to the Supreme Court’s directive to cooperate with a committee meant to examine the issue in detail (PTI)

Don’t let challenges turn intractable | HT Editorial

UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 06:20 AM IST
Both the China ingression and the stance of the farm unions are disparate issues, born out of their own specific histories
Close
According to a news report, US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed at least 20 Indian-Americans, with 17 of them in White House positions — 13 of the 20 also happen to be women. (AFP)
According to a news report, US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed at least 20 Indian-Americans, with 17 of them in White House positions — 13 of the 20 also happen to be women. (AFP)

Under Biden, the rise of Indian-Americans

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 07:16 PM IST
India would do well to cultivate them, as it would cultivate any US official at high levels, but respect their identity beyond their Indian roots.
Close
A health worker carries a carton containing vaccines during the delivery of the first consignment of 1,000 vials of Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, Jaipur, January 13, 2021 (Himanshu Vyas/ Hindustan Times)
A health worker carries a carton containing vaccines during the delivery of the first consignment of 1,000 vials of Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, Jaipur, January 13, 2021 (Himanshu Vyas/ Hindustan Times)

And the vaccine is here

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 07:46 PM IST
When India begins its coronavirus vaccination drive on Saturday, it will start with some of the biggest numbers: 300,000 potential recipients, 3,006 centres, and over 16 million doses already at hand
Close
Prime Minister KP Oli’s unconstitutional move to dissolve Parliament (the new Nepali Constitution does not give the PM the right to do so) has led to a de facto split in the Nepal Communist Party (NCP). (Getty Images)
Prime Minister KP Oli’s unconstitutional move to dissolve Parliament (the new Nepali Constitution does not give the PM the right to do so) has led to a de facto split in the Nepal Communist Party (NCP). (Getty Images)

Delhi’s balancing act with Nepal | HT Editorial

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 08:37 AM IST
Nepal’s foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali is in Delhi for a bilateral meeting
Close
The ruling puts the provisions of SMA on a par with personal laws which require no notice period (PTI)
The ruling puts the provisions of SMA on a par with personal laws which require no notice period (PTI)

Upholding the right to liberty and privacy | HT Editorial

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 08:37 AM IST
The Allahabad High Court has upheld the fundamental right to liberty and privacy with its ruling that a 30-day notice is not mandatory for those seeking to get married under the Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954
Close
WhatsApp, the most popular mobile communication tool in the world, is going to great lengths to explain that its new use policy does not jeopardise the privacy of its users by sending additional data to its parent company, Facebook. (REUTERS)
WhatsApp, the most popular mobile communication tool in the world, is going to great lengths to explain that its new use policy does not jeopardise the privacy of its users by sending additional data to its parent company, Facebook. (REUTERS)

To big tech, India must send a message

UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2021 10:35 PM IST
WhatsApp’s new policy is now a strong reminder of why India must expedite work on its own data protection law so that Indians have a right to say to big tech — “We don’t agree”.
Close
A man holds the flags of India and the US while people take part in the 35th India Day Parade, New York, August 16, 2015 (REUTERS)
A man holds the flags of India and the US while people take part in the 35th India Day Parade, New York, August 16, 2015 (REUTERS)

Widening strategic trust

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2021 11:14 PM IST
Much of the recent history of the relationship between India and the United States has revolved around creating strategic trust between the two countries
Close
The Narendra Modi government has, to its credit, also unleashed important second-generation reforms in critical sectors such as labour and agriculture during the pandemic(PTI)
The Narendra Modi government has, to its credit, also unleashed important second-generation reforms in critical sectors such as labour and agriculture during the pandemic(PTI)

The economy is looking up | HT Editorial

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 08:01 PM IST
Focus on public spending, demand, and helping the informal sector
Close
US President Donald Trump speaks in Washington, January 6, 2021(REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump speaks in Washington, January 6, 2021(REUTERS)

The destructive legacy of Donald Trump | HT Editorial

UPDATED ON JAN 07, 2021 07:40 PM IST
The US has witnessed one of the darkest days in its history. Hold the president accountable
Close
A farmer sitting during an ongoing protest against the new farm laws, Singhu border, New Delhi, January 7, 2020(ANI)
A farmer sitting during an ongoing protest against the new farm laws, Singhu border, New Delhi, January 7, 2020(ANI)

Farm unions must be flexible | HT Editorial

UPDATED ON JAN 07, 2021 07:39 PM IST
The government has been open. It is time for farm leaders to reciprocate
Close
Mr Mukherjee, a long-term parliamentarian, noted the trend of parliamentary disruptions and wrote how “appalled” he was with the “callousness” with which disruptions were used(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Mr Mukherjee, a long-term parliamentarian, noted the trend of parliamentary disruptions and wrote how “appalled” he was with the “callousness” with which disruptions were used(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Chronicling the role of institutions | HT Editorial

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON JAN 06, 2021 08:21 PM IST
Pranab Mukherjee’s final memoir’s greater value — beyond the insights on parties and individuals — lies in its assessment of the institutions
Close
Mr Juster suggested that the idea of self-reliance, if taken beyond a certain point, would weigh down the trajectory of bilateral cooperation in defence and economics(Prabhas Roy)
Mr Juster suggested that the idea of self-reliance, if taken beyond a certain point, would weigh down the trajectory of bilateral cooperation in defence and economics(Prabhas Roy)

Where India and US diverge | HT Editorial

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 07, 2021 07:20 AM IST
With an eye on China, both countries must narrow the gap on defence, tech and trade
Close
The relatives of a person injured in the collapse of a roof at Murad Nagar, Ghaziabad, January 3, 2021(Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)
The relatives of a person injured in the collapse of a roof at Murad Nagar, Ghaziabad, January 3, 2021(Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)

Ghaziabad roof collapse: The challenge of maintaining public infra

UPDATED ON JAN 06, 2021 06:14 AM IST
While the swift action taken by the administrationpraiseworthy, the roof collapse is symptomatic of a larger problem that is rampant across India — the failure of the government machinery to not just ensure good quality public infrastructure (all built with public money), but also force contractors to keep to guaranteed timelines and maintain infrastructure projects in good shape during their lifecycle
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP