Nestle India Ltd. moved the Bombay High Court today for a judicial review of orders passed by food safety regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, that banned the sale, distribution and production of Maggi noodles. The court will hear the plea tomorrow.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued an order last week banning all variants of Nestle India's Maggi noodles, terming them as "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption, after several states banned the product because they were found to have higher presence of lead than the permitted level of 2.5 parts per million, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). In addition, the regulator said that Nestle was selling a variant, Maggi Oats Masala Noodles, without its approval.
Maharashtra is one of the states that has banned Maggi, a brand that has Rs 2,000 crore of sales every year.
This review will not affect Nestle's ongoing efforts to withdraw all packs of Maggi across India. "This action will not interfere with this process," the company said in a statement.
The company maintains that its noodles are safe to eat. Nestle India has lost as much as Rs 10,000 crore in its stock price after states started banning the product. Worldwide CEO Paul Bulcke arrived in India last week for damage control, and stood by safety measures followed by the company. "We have taken Maggi off shelves because of the environment of confusion. We will be back as soon as possible," he had said.
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