Nestle victory in Bombay High Court against ban of Maggi brand noodles

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 17th August 2015

hammer-719065_640The Bombay High Court has struck down a ban placed by India’s food safety regulator on Nestle’s Maggi brand noodles.

On 13 August 2015, the Court removed the ban on 9 variants of the well-known instant noodles, stating that the food regulator’s acts were “arbitrary” and not following the “principles of natural justice”.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) directed a product withdrawal on 5 June 2015, alleging that the Nestle product contained excessive lead. Further, the FSSAI stated that the product had been labelled as “no added MSG” despite the FSSAI’s understanding of monosodium glutamate (MSG) as being used as a flavour enhancer. When the FSSAI ordered the product to be withdrawn, it stating the product was “unsafe and hazardous”.

The high court ruling found that the laboratories used for testing by the FSSAI did not meet the requirements of the Food Safety and Standards Act and Regulations.

The High Court further stated:

(The) 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), one day prior to the impugned order, had given a press release that it had recalled the product till the authorities were satisfied about the safety of the product.

The FSSAI had claimed that 30 out of 72 samples were found to contain high levels of lead Nestle argued that the products remained within the maximum permissible limit for lead of 2.5 parts per million.

The High Court ordered that Nestle be given six weeks to conduct product safety tests at accredited laboratories before the product can be relaunched.