July,19,2015: Swiss food manufacturer Nestle India told the Bombay High Court on Friday that the Indian labs where Maggi noodles were tested were not accredited and therefore not competent to give findings on lead content in their products.
While laboratories in Delhi were not accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, those in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Assam and West Bengal were not competent to test lead content.
“The material on record shows that the laboratories do not satisfy all the conditions [for testing]. Therefore, the evidence on which the authorities have banned the products is flawed,” senior advocate Iqbal Chagla, representing Nestle, told the court.
In June, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) found Maggi noodles “unsafe and hazardous for human consumption. Following this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Maharashtra banned Maggi after some samples were found to contain lead above the permissible limit.
Why blanket ban ?
Pointing to varying results within the same batch of products, Nestle argued that the government could have recalled a particular batch of the product instead of imposing a blanket ban.
Furthermore, samples were found to be exceeding permissible lead limits in seven States, whereas in 20 States, the levels were within limits.
The authorities have passed “arbitrary and illegal” orders “without any application of the mind,” the counsel argued and said: “The entire ban order is without any basis and should be struck down.”
Nestle has so far destroyed 25,000 tonnes of Maggi out of 30,000 tonnes.
“About 25 per cent of the turnover of Rs. 2,500 crore has been destroyed along with goodwill. It has also instilled an apprehension in the minds of mothers and housewives that the product is poisonous and injurious to health,” Mr. Chagla said.
The company told the court that it has given the authorities 2,700 reports of independent laboratories in India and abroad showing that levels of lead in their products were within the permissible limits of 2.5 parts per million (ppm).
30.6.2015- Bombay High Court allows Nestle to export Maggi noodles READ MORE…