Supreme Court seeks clarification on Maggi samples in 8 weeks

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maggiAs per PTI reports, the Supreme Court has asked the government laboratory in Mysore to further clarify whether the test reports relating to lead and glutamic acid in Maggi noodles, are within permissible parameters under the law or not.

The apex court has passed the order after perusing two communications received from the Mysore laboratory, which had carried out the test about the monosodium glutamate (MSG) content in the samples.

While Nestle India, makers of Maggi, claimed that the lead content was within the permissible limit as prescribed under the Food Safety Act, the Centre said that there was a need for comprehensive findings of all other parameters.

Making it clear that it was not passing any interim order, a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, said there was a need for clarification.

The bench, also comprising Justice N V Ramana, said, “We have perused the test reports. We would like Central Food Technological Research Institute of Mysore, to apprise this court on two aspects, whether the test report relating to lead and glutamic acid are within the permissible parameters and to clarify that those are within parameters prescribed under the Food Safety Act,” The bench added that the institute in Mysore shall also give clarification on the test relating to glutamic acid.

The bench added that if the institute feels more samples were necessary, it can requisite the same from the authority concerned.

The bench said for the additional samples the court may communicate with the joint registrar, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), who was appointed as local commissioner. He shall collect the samples from FSSAI godown in Lucknow.

The court said that the entire exercise has to be carried out within eight weeks and posted the matter for April 5.

On 16 December 2015, the court had ordered for testing samples of Maggi noodles in the Mysore laboratory after NCDRC had directed that it be done in Chennai.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Nestle India Ltd against the order of apex consumer commission.

On 10 December 2015, the consumer commission had sent 16 more samples of Maggi noodles for testing in the Chennai lab to ascertain the quantity of lead and MSG in them in connection with the government’s Rs 640 crore suit against the company for alleged unfair trade practices.

The Supreme Court had stayed the proceedings before NCDRC and had directed that the test reports, including the earlier one, be placed before it.

On 13 August 2015, the Bombay High Court had lifted the ban on nine variants of the fast food and asked the company to go for fresh tests.