Karnataka to Consider Revoking Maggi Ban
Karnataka banned Maggi noodles on June 7. (Photo courtesy: The News Minute)
Karnataka banned Maggi noodles on June 7. (Photo courtesy: The News Minute)

Karnataka to Consider Revoking Maggi Ban

Four months after Karnataka banned Maggi noodles, the state government is considering withdrawing the ban as the original reasons for it do not appear to have stood up to scrutiny.

The ban was invoked by the Karnataka government after directions from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to temporarily stop Nestle India from manufacturing or selling its noodles, including variants, in the state as a precautionary measure to ensure public health.

After preliminary results of tests conducted at a private lab in Karnataka indicated that the levels of lead in the noodles were above the permissible limit, the state health department advised stakeholders to refrain from marketing, distributing and selling the noodles, and also asked the public not to consume it.

On Wednesday, the state Health Minister, UT Khader, said that the government was contemplating withdrawing the ban as toxins such as lead and monosodium glutamate were found to be within permissible limits in samples tested here.

Khader told the Times of India there was lack of clarity on why the ban was in place in the state.

We are thinking of lifting the ban on sale of Maggi, as there’s no clarity on why the ban was imposed in the first place. We followed the Centre’s directive and tested Maggi samples in labs accredited by the National Accreditation of Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). Results showed lead content was within permissible limits. We tested the same sample in a lab in Kolkata, where the lead content was found to be 2.6 particles per million (ppm). We don’t know which result to believe now. How can the same sample show different results in different places?
— UT Khader, Karnataka Health Minister

Maggi Clears the Test



(Courtesy: Nestle.in)
(Courtesy: Nestle.in)

An NABL-accredited lab in Nagarbhavi, south Bengaluru had tested samples of Maggi in which the lead content was recorded at 0.05 ppm; the permissible limit is 2.5 ppm.

The Times of India quoted Khader saying, “If the Centre questions our decision, we’ll ask it to provide scientific evidence to continue with it.”

However, the minister added he wasn’t sure if the product will hit the market again.

I don’t know if Nestle will be willing to start selling Maggi again, even if we lift the ban.
— UT Khader, Karnataka Health Minister

In August 2015, the Bombay High Court ruled in favour of Nestle in its battle to overturn a nationwide ban of its Maggi instant noodles, but demanded the popular snack be tested again for safety before it can go on sale.

The High Court order also criticised the FSSAI’s facilities as ill-equipped and under-staffed.