Indians rejoice: Maggi noodles may be back on the menu soon.
The Bombay High Court has ruled in favour of Nestle India in its appeal against the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) June 5 ban on the manufacture and sale of the beloved instant noodle brand.
“Principles of natural justice have not been followed in announcing the ban,” the Bombay High Court said, according to NDTV.
The Swiss food conglomerate found itself in hot water in May when the Food Safety and Drug Administration (FDA) in Uttar Pradesh discovered monosodium glutamate (MSG) and an excessive level of lead in some of the Maggi samples it tested.
In June, the FSSAI ordered Nestle to withdraw all nine varieties of the Maggi brand from Indian shelves, even as the company maintained that the noodles did not contain any harmful ingredients.
But now the Bombay High Court wants the noodles to be retested within the next six weeks at three laboratories in Hyderabad, Mohali and Jaipur. If the samples don’t contain levels of lead that exceed the prescribed amount, Nestle will be allowed to start making Maggi again in India.
This dramatic about-turn comes after regulators in the UK, Canada, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand all declared that the noodles were safe to eat, prompting heavy criticism over India’s handling of the Maggi case.
On his visit to India in June to combat the bad press, Nestle’s global CEO Paul Bulcke said that there was a lack of clarity on the manner in which the testing was carried out.
Amidst the furore, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi advocated that the public remain calm. On Aug. 6,
Earlier this week, the Indian government demanded $99 million in damages from Nestle India on behalf of consumers. It cited unfair trade practices and the sale of defective goods as the main reasons.
But thanks to the Bombay High Court, some respite may be finally on the way.