CHANDIGARH: Close on the heels of the UP government decision, the Haryana government on Tuesday decided to test Maggi products across the state and warned of strict action against the company if the results threw up any damning evidence . Signalling growing trouble for Nestle India, manufacturers of Maggi, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij ordered the sampling of Maggi noodles across the state.
“We have taken cognisance of reports of alleged lapses of food safety standards in Maggi noodles. I have ordered my department to lift samples of these noodles from across the state for laboratory testing. I have asked the Director General of Health Services to direct all Chief Medical Officers in the state to depute staff to lift the samples from every district. The samples will be lifted randomly from the districts,” he said.
As for testing the samples, the minister said, “We have good laboratories in our state. Moreover, if need be, we can get the samples tested by reputed laboratories from outside the state as well.’’ According to him, “If any lapses in food safety standards are found in the tests, the state government will take strict action. Then, we will ask the (company) concerned to withdraw all stocks of Maggi noodles from the state,” he said.
Furthermore, Vij said a case had been filed against Maggi in relation to Food Safety Standards in a Court in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh, based on which of Haryana Health Department was also directed to get the quality checked.
Meanwhile in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, an NGO– Umang Foundation-- has sought a ban on the sale and advertisements of Maggi noodles in the state. Surinder Kumar, trustee of the foundation, claimed that the samples collected by the authorities in UP and Uttarakhand have proved that Maggi had poisonous contents which could lead to serious ailments in children. He urged the Himachal government to collect the samples and conduct similar tests, so that the procedure to enforce a ban on it in the state could begin. He said that Maggi Noodles are harmful for health due to its poisonous ingredients which has been proved by the laboratory tests in these two states. The tests showed that Maggi contained 17 parts per million lead (PPM) of MSG, where as the permissible limit is 0.01 PPM.
Nestle India, though, has claimed that the Maggi noodles are safe to eat as the results of the tests indicate that the lead content is within the permissible levels. Last month, UP FSDA had asked Nestle India to withdraw a batch of Maggi noodles ‘which were manufactured in Feb 2014’ after high levels of added MSG, a taste enhancer, and lead beyond permissible limits were detected.