Current affairs

The great Indian Maggi fiasco



Setbacks to Nestle after multiple states ban the sale of Maggi temporary

In the last few days the, we have seen more Maggi on television screens and newspapers than at our homes or at the local grocery shop. This is not because of some ad campaign or somethng, but because of certain elements present in it. It all started with a routine inspection of samples of Maggi noodles to test whether Nestle was complying with claim that the product did not contain any Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), which a type of a taste enhancer.

A test laboratory in Gorakhpur revealed that Maggi contained high levels of MSG. The levels were much higher than the admissible levels. When Nestle did not agree with the report, the product was further tested in a laboratory in Kolkata, which further revealed that the product also contained high levels of lead.

The discovery of lead in the samples of Maggi lead prompted authorities of West Bengal, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Odisha, Gujarat, Bihar, Assam, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerela to either send the samples for testing or withdraw the product from the market.

Even the Delhi government banned the product for a period of 15 days and has asked the company (Nestle) to recall the product across the city. The officials from the Delhi government informed that the action was taken because the data from the samples taken suggested that the lead levels in Maggi were dangerously high. Only one sample out of 13 had permissible levels of lead. The state-run supermarkets in Kerela too have decided not to take any more fresh stocks of the Maggi till the time Nestle is cleared of all charges.

Nestle on its part claimed that it had sent 600 product batches to external laboratories for testing and on the other hand 1000 product batches were tested at a Nestle laboratory.

Officials from Nestle informed that they are fully cooperating with the authorities, after they were informed about elevated levels of MSG in Maggi.

Another major setback that the company faced was when the Army issued written instructions to its personnel to not to buy Maggi from the canteen and even from the civilian market till the time there is more clarity to the issue.

The permissible level of lead should be 0.01 parts per million, but, in this case, the samples contained 17 parts per million.

Even big supermarkets such as Big Bazaar have stopped selling Maggi at their outlets.

A Bihar court also ordered registration of  an FIR against megastar Amitabh Bachchan as he has been featured in their advertisement a number of times.

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