Days after Baba Ramdev launched his new Patanjali Atta Noodles, it has run into trouble with the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) saying that the noodles do not have the required product approvals by the food regulatory body. However, the back of the packet bears an FSSAI license number.
Baba Ramdev launches Patanjali instant noodles in Delhi. pic.twitter.com/PbGZEzTaiR— ANI (@ANI_news) November 16, 2015
“Patanjali Atta Noodles has not got product approvals from us. The matter has been brought to our notice. We are pursuing it,” Ashish Bahuguna, FSSAI chairperson who also holds additional charge as its CEO, told The Indian Express.
When asked about the packet bearing an FSSAI licence number 10014012000266, Bahugana continued, “How can a licence be given for a product that has not been approved? Licences are issued by the state government to manufacture certain items. But approvals for (non-standardised) products are given by us. That approval was not taken. I do not know how the licence was procured.”
Stating that Patanjali Ayurved has not applied for approval for the noodles yet, another senior FSSAI official told The Indian Express, “I do not know what is there in the noodles."
Patanjali meanwhile rubbished these reports saying 'misleading information' was being spread and they had proof to substantiate that Patanjali Atta Noodles has all the required approvals.
"We have followed all the rules of the FSSAI and have not violated any of their terms. In context with misleading news published today in newspapers regarding Patanjali Atta Noodles, we categorically state that we have followed all FSSAI rules and guidelines and committed no violation," SK Tijarawala, the brand spokesman, said in a statement. They have also provided copies of the re-labeling license and the FSSAI notification as proof to back their claim.
The yoga guru had earlier claimed at the launch that Patanjali Atta Noodles "will not have any maida (wheat flour) and they will provide a healthy alternative to Maggi for children."
Patanjali Atta Noodles was vying for a breakthrough in the instant noodles market space after a nationwide ban on Maggi noodles by the FSSAI on June 5. The food regulatory body had banned the product after testing of the noodles revealed more than permissible levels of lead and monosodium glutamate despite the packet mentioning that there was no MSG involved in the manufacture of the product.
Patanjali Ayurved, an FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) venture promoted by the yoga guru, sells a variety of products such as fruit juices/ready to serve fruit beverages, ghee, mustard/coconut oil, salt, asafoetida, biscuit, sattu, oats, cornflakes, poha, soan papdi, jaggery powder, namkeen and papad, gur, whole wheat atta, pulses, sweets and pasta products (macaroni, spaghetti, vermicelli). However, as The Indian Express reported, the licence issued to Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, Patanjali Food and Herbal Park for those products does not include noodles.
However, the FSSAI cannot take any action until the noodles arrive at the market. The Patanjali Atta Noodles are expected to be in markets by next month in a million stores according to Baba Ramdev, whose FMCG company is massively scaling up production.
This story has been updated to reflect a response from Patanjali spokespersons.
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