Union Health Minister JP Nadda to hold meeting over the Maggi controversy

New Delhi(PTI): Amid row surrounding Maggi noodles, Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Wednesday assured that his Ministry will take appropriate action based on reports from all the states and said no laxity will shown.

Nadda said that he will hold a meeting tonight or tomorrow to take a complete stock of the whole issue.

“We had issued an advisory to all the states and told them to take samples of maggi noodles and report to us by June 1. The states have started sending their reports. Few states are still left. We are waiting for the reports to come. We are taking a view on it. Maybe tonight or tomorrow we will be having a meeting. We will take a complete picture of the issue. Accordingly action will be taken. No laxity will be there. Appropriate action will be taken,” Nadda said.

After Uttar Pradesh, the probe into alleged lapses of food safety standards was expanded and Maggi noodle samples are being tested across the country.

However, Nestle India claimed it has got samples tested in an external laboratory as well as in-house and that the product was found “safe to eat”.

Nadda said that his Ministry is seeing to it that the report from different states reach them as soon as possible so that it can take a view on the issue.

“First of all, we are waiting for the reports. Let things get authenticated. Only then the ministry is going to take the view. We are trying to see to it that the reports reach us as soon as possible. Appropriate action will be taken based on the reports,” he said.

Asked whether any advisory has been issued from the Union Health Ministry to the states to put the product on hold, Nadda said,”Not yet. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is going to take a complete picture after getting reports from states.”

A number of states including Kerala and Haryana have also initiated steps.

The Delhi government has banned the sale of Maggi noodles for 15 days and asked the Indian arm of Swiss manufacturer Nestle to withdraw the existing stock.

The Delhi government has also decided to carry out lab testing of all other noodles brands available in the city.

Yesterday, the Delhi government had said that it found samples of Maggi noodles “unsafe” for consumption as it contained lead beyond the permissible level in Maggi masala (tastemaker).

A total of 13 samples of masala (tastemaker) were lifted by authorities from various areas of the city last week of which 10 were found unsafe.

The government has also filed a complaint on its own with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)- using a provision for the first time from the nearly three-decade-old Consumer Protection Act.

Describing the alleged lapses related to food safety standards in Maggi noodles as a “serious issue”, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan also said that the NCDRC will investigate the matter and take appropriate action.

The Army has also issued an advisory asking its personnel not to consume Maggi noodles and directed military canteens to set aside the existing stock of the popular snack until further orders.
Consumer cooperative society Kendriya Bhandar is withdrawing Maggi noodles from its 130 stores in and outside Delhi.