More than $50 million worth of Nestle’s hugely popular Maggi noodles will be destroyed, following a ban imposed by India’s food safety regulator.
India’s food safety regulator says tests have found the instant noodles “unsafe and hazardous” and has accused Nestle of failing to comply with food safety laws.
Nestle insists that the noodles are safe and is challenging the ban.
The company has 80% of India’s instant noodles market.
Nestle said in a statement that value of withdrawn noodles include stocks taken off the shelves and stocks stored in factories and with distributors.
The company said: “There will be additional costs to take into account, for example bringing stock from the market, transporting the stock to the destruction points, destruction cost etc. The final figure will have to be confirmed at a later date.”
Earlier this month, Nestle began withdrawing the Maggi brand from stores, after regulators said they found higher-than-allowed levels of lead in some packets.
The company is challenging the ban in the high court in the city of Mumbai and “raised issues of interpretation” of India’s food safety laws.
Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke has asked to see the results of the laboratory tests and promised to return Maggi to store shelves soon.
Several states have also been testing the noodles for the chemical monosodium glutamate, widely known as MSG.
Nestle India has decided to temporarily stop distribution of Maggi noodles across India.
The move comes amid concerns about safety as several states have been testing Nestle’s bestselling instant noodle brand for higher-than-allowed levels of lead.
Maggi noodles have also been testing for the chemical monosodium glutamate, widely known as MSG.
Nestle said in a statement on June 5 that Maggi noodles were completely safe.
However, “recent developments and unfounded concerns about the product have led to an environment of confusion for the consumer,” Nestle said.
Nestle said the confusion had developed to such an extent “that we have decided to withdraw the product off the shelves, despite the product being safe”, but promised the noodles would return to the market as soon as the current problem was dealt with.
Maggi noodles had already been banned for 15 days in India’s capital Delhi and states including Gujarat. However, other states had deemed them safe.
The earlier ban of Maggi noodles in Delhi received prominent coverage in the media and on social media platforms.
Maggi noodles ban sparked humor as well as public health concerns on social media platforms like Twitter.
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