Adding to the heat of the ongoing bans on packaged food items, the Bombay High Court, on Tuesday, permitted Nestlé to export their ready-to-cook noodles, which are currently banned in India. The court will take up the final hearing of the case on July 14. Nestlé had approached the court seeking to lift the ban on Maggi noodles, in India.
While 11,000 crore packets of the product have already destroyed and another 17,000 crore have been incinerated, the company ensured that the entire process will be completed by the end of July. It was when the government lawyer questioned Nestlé’s product incineration, while they argued that their noodles are safe to export, that the court said the company has liberty to export their product.
Maggi was banned by the FSSAI due to the presence of excessive amounts of monosodium glutamate present in it. Nestlé had withdrawn all the variants of Maggi, hours before its ban, ruling them unsafe and hazardous.
“Why blame us? If the company claims that its product is safe and follows safety standards then let it export it instead of destroying”, The food safety regulator said in the court today. At the same time,Nestlé has challenged the ban on nine variants of Maggi noodles, describing it as “unauthorised, arbitrary and unconstitutional for violating the right to equality and trade.”
The company also questioned the standards of testing behind the ban, and also says it violates the principles of natural justice, as it was not given a proper hearing.
Nestle estimates a lose of Rs. 32 billion in the process of recalling and destroying the product, this being the biggest ever withdrawal of any product by the company.