Maggi Noodles in soup again as UP slaps it with Rs71 lakh fines

29 Nov 2017


Nestle's popular Maggi Noodles brand, which had gone off the shelves for a while in 2015 for allegedly containing impermissible ingredients, is in trouble again. The district administration of Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, has slapped a fine on Nestle India and its distributors after its Maggi allegedly failed to pass a lab test.

Nestle has strongly rebutted the allegations, saying "it's a case of application of incorrect standards" and it would file an appeal.

The district administration imposed a fine of Rs45 lakh on Nestle, Rs15 lakh on its three distributors and Rs11 lakh on its two sellers, PTI reports.

According to the district authorities, it had collected the samples last year in November and sent them for lab tests, which had found ash content above the permissible limits for human consumption.

A Nestle India spokesperson said, "While we have not received the orders passed by the adjudication officer, we have been informed that the samples are of year 2015 and the issue pertains to 'ash content' in Noodles.

"This appears to be a case of application of incorrect standards, and we will file an appeal urgently once we receive the order."

Shares of Nestle India were not seriously affected by the news. At 9.55 am, the stock was trading 0.09 per cent lower at Rs7,490, The Economic Times reported.

In 2015, Nestle India and other companies had represented to the relevant authorities, via industry associations, to set standards specific to instant noodles to avoid confusion amongst enforcement officers and consumers.

"The standards have since been introduced and the product complies with these standards. We regret the confusion it may cause to consumers," he said, adding, "We strongly reiterate that Maggi Noodles are 100 per cent safe for consumption."

Maggi was banned by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in June 2015 for allegedly containing lead beyond permissible limits, forcing Nestle India to withdraw the product from the market. Even in 2015, the Maggi trouble for Nestle had begun in Uttar Pradesh.

Following legal battles, the popular noodles brand was back in the market in November 2015.

Allegations are widespread that Maggi is being targeted by the BJP government in UP and at the Centre in order to favour a rival brand.

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