Everything you should know about the Maggi controversy and its developments

Gone are the days when Maggi was mentioned in our conversations for all the good reasons. No more conversations about how you prepared that ‘special’ bowl of Maggi you devoured after a long day at work or you prepared to get over a bad hangover you woke up to this morning. When an officer of the UP Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) summoned tests on a dozen samples of Nestle’s Maggi instant noodles at the state laboratory in Gorakhpur, and at the Central Food Laboratory in Kolkata, last month, Maggi turned out to be not so healthy to eat. 

1. Nestle had claimed its product, Maggi had no monosodium glutamate (MSG) contents and higher amounts of lead. The tests done at both the laboratories revealed that the “safe to eat” Maggi had MSG. The tests undertaken at the Kolkata Central Food Laboratory also found high quantities of lead — 17.2 parts per million.  According to Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011, the permitted amount of lead in instant noodles is 2.5 ppm.

2. Post reviewing the tests’ findings, UP FDA filed a complaint against Nestle in a court in Barabanki. 

3. On 1st June, Food Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan ordered Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), to conduct nationwide tests on Maggi. Consumer Affairs Additional Secretary, G Gurucharan also announced all health and safety parameters will be checked and not just the amounts of lead and MSG in Maggi. 

4. Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2011 state that “food enhancer” or MSG should not be added to any food meant to be consumed by infant under the age of 12 as it may cause body reactions. MSG is only allowed in seasonings for noodles and pasta. Over 50 food products can not have added MSG including noodles and pastas. Large and frequent consumption of MSG is considered harmful.

5. Lead can make its way to dried food items like, Maggi through the raw materials used. Water, flavouring ingredients, packaging, or the curling agent could be a reason for it. “Lead is not an essential component of noodles. Raw materials are not periodically evaluated in India; before FSSAI introduced new regulations in 2011, we were following the PFA Act of the 1950s. Regular checks of raw materials will help generate a database of possible toxic components for every ingredient, we will know where these are coming from. Such tests should be conducted at least every five years,” Dr Annapure.

6. Maggi took to social media and decided to talk to its concerned fanbase through their Facebook handle on 21st May. They wrote:

Dear MAGGI Fans,

There have been conversations on social media regarding the recall of your favourite MAGGI Noodles. We fully understand your concerns and would want to assure you that MAGGI is neither banned nor is there any order to recall the product being sold in the market.

We would also want to reassure you that MAGGI contains no added MSG and routine tests have consistently shown that lead levels in MAGGI are within the regulatory limits.

Quality and safety of our products is topmost priority for us and you can continue to enjoy your MAGGI Noodles without being concerned.

Click here to read more: http://bit.ly/1JDT8zN

Regards,
Team MAGGI

7. After a lab test, Delhi government decided to file a case against Nestle India on 2nd June as it found exceeding levels of lead in Maggi. This test has lead to many conversations about another ban in the country.

8. A total of 13 samples of Maggi taste-maker were picked from random parts of the city for the test. 10 out of 13 samples were found to have more than 2.5 ppm of lead.

9. On 1st June Maggi said, “As a responsible company, we submitted samples of MAGGI Noodles from almost 600 product batches to an external laboratory for independent analysis and we tested samples from almost 1000 batches at our own accredited laboratory. These samples represent around 125 Million (12.5 Crore) packets. All the results of these internal and external tests show that lead levels are well within the limits specified by food regulations. You can continue to enjoy your favourite MAGGI noodles as always!”

Dear MAGGI Fans, We understand that you are concerned by reports that the authorities in Uttar Pradesh have found…

Posted by Meri Maggi on Monday, June 1, 2015

 

10. Kerala Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Anoop Jacobs have put a temporary stop on the distribution of Maggi in the state until much clarity is achieved in the case. Haryana and Karnatak have also decided to check contents of Maggi instant noodles.

11. On Monday, Consumer Affairs official, Gurucharan declared actions against brand ambassadors and retailer who sold Maggi with the knowledge about its harmful contents will be taken.

12. FIRs against Madhuri Dixit, Amitabh Bachchan and Preity Zinta for endorsing Maggi were filed at courts in Muzaffarpur, Bihar and Barabanki, UP, on Tuesday.

13. The news about the FIRs against the brand endorsers resulted into a mass reaction on Twitter with a group of twitterati blaming the endorsers and the others blaming the authorities for dragging celebrities into the controversy to gain momentum and popularity.  Many celebrities too tweeted about the Maggi controversy.

14. Here are a few of those tweets :

1. I feel celebs/their teams should filter what they promote/endorse.Its shldnt just be about money but about responsibility! #MaggiInASoup

– @mvadera 

 

2. Don’t understand why Madhuri Dixit gets court notice from govt over Maggi ads?

– @vinaydokania

3. The fastest way for a small town lawyer and the court to gain recognition is to have a case filed against a celebrity #MaggiInASoup

– @Moneybloke

4. Now that endorsements are investigated, how about Cola’s? Anybody will tell you how bad they are for you http://www.trueactivist.com/what-happens-to-our-body-after-drinking-coca-cola/

– @shekharkapur

5. Maggi:

Action against company

Action against endorsers

None against govt agencies for ignoring this till now.

God bless babudom.

– @YearOfRat

16. Further developments

On June 3rd, Delhi government slapped Nestle’s Maggi with a 15-day ban and have asked Nestle to recall the current stocks from the market and supply the new stock which will be made available in the market after proper scrutiny

Food and Drug Administration officials in Goa, Kerala and Maharashtra have reported the tests carried out in their respective labs have shown no excess levels of lead and MSG in Maggi. Looks like Maggi is safe for now, however if more negative lab tests are found in the recent days to come, we might have the good old Maggi banned in the country.

17. On 5th June, Maggi communicated to its fan:

MAGGI Noodles are completely safe and have been trusted in India for over 30 years.The trust of our consumers and the…

Posted by Meri Maggi on Thursday, June 4, 2015

 

So for now, all that Maggi fans need to do is to just wait for their beloved Maggi’s return.

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