The Bombay High Court last month authorised the return of the noodles to the shelves after the FSSAI, the regulator, ordered their removal in June following claims by a state food department that it had found excess traces of lead and monosodium glutamate in a sample.
Independent international laboratories, as well as court-mandated testing facilities, were unable to replicate the findings by the Uttar Pradesh Food and Drug Administration, leading Mumbai’s top court to issue the all-clear, calling the FSSAI’s practices "arbitrary, unjust and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution".
The court ordered fresh tests, which subsequently came back negative, though the FSSAI is now challenging the process of gaining these results through its current action.
The High Court order was “erroneous”, according to the regulator, which has also questioned the “sanctity” of the samples provided to the government-approved labs for the re-test, sources with the FSSAI told The Hindu.
The FSSAI believes that the High Court was wrong to ask Nestlé India, which manufactures Maggi noodles, to provide the fresh samples itself instead of asking a neutral authority to do so.
“They said it was like asking a person under suspicion to give evidence against himself,” The Hindu reported. “Further, they said that the element of surprise was also lost.”
However, it is documented that the latest Maggi samples underwent two set of tests in three accredited and FSSAI-approved laboratories, which showed the presence of no harmful elements in the products.