Maggi noodles to be retested for class-action suit
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission said the samples, each from different batches, should be sent to accredited laboratories.
The government suit comes in the wake of an affair this year that saw Nestlé’s Maggi noodles removed from shelves at the order of India’s food regulator, FSSAI, which alleged the product contained unacceptable levels of lead and monosodium glutamate.
The company was forced to destroy 30,000 tonnes of the noodles after Maggi was banned from sale.
Bombay High Court subsequently overturned the ban, though Nestlé said it had taken a Rs450cr (US$69m) hit in sales alone, with countless more damage sustained to its reputation. The product has not yet returned to sale in India.
The Consumer Affairs Ministry is seeking around Rs640cr (US$99m) in damages from Nestlé for alleged unfair trade practices, false labelling and misleading advertisements.
It alleges that Nestle India had "indulged in unfair trade practices by false labelling of Maggi Noodles in as much as it states 'No added MSG' prominently on packet, despite presence of MSG."
Nestlé denies any wrongdoing and its managing director, Suresh Narayanan, has told PTI he was confident that the case would go the company’s way.
Earlier this week, Nestlé questioned the jurisdiction of the consumer court to try the case, saying there was nothing new in the government's suit as all contentions had been dismissed by the High Court in its August 13 order.
The government counsel had asked the court to allow its lawyers to procure more samples from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) but the demand was not accepted.
The samples to be tested would be Maggi Masala and Veg Atta noodles.