As NDTV recently exposed the modus operandi of Uttar Pradesh food inspectors, who claimed to defame any brand or product, another jolt to official lab testing procedure has come when the Bombay High Court cleared Maggi noodles from any ban as validated by three labs of National Accreditation Board for Testing Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
"We have received the results from all the three NABL, mandated by the Bombay high court to test newly-manufactured Maggi noodles samples," the company said in its filing before the SEBI. "All the samples of the Maggi noodles masala have been cleared with lead much below permissible limits," it said and added that it would re-introduce Maggi Masala in November itself to meet Diwali-season demand.
Before the ban, Maggi was manufactured at Nanjangud in Karnataka, Moga in Punjab and Bicholim in Goa, while two more plants at Tahliwal, Himachal Pradesh and Pantnagar in Uttarakhand respectively were in the pipeline. More than the labs in India, Maggi noodles were first cleared by Singapore and followed by USA and Australia.
The entire episode of Maggi noodles exxposes India’s ignorance about noodles and scientific measurements of lead content in foods. It has shown the country not only as ill-equipped to conduct lab tests on food but also a nation with corrupt officials who can kill global brands in an instant, as was made evident in the expose by NDTV recently.
Maggi episode sends out an image of how difficult it is to survive in the Indian market. It has come at a whopping cost of Rs25 crore for the company which has filed its Q3 earnings registering 60.1% net revenue loss.
“In addition to loss of sales from business disruption, net sales worth ₹15.32 crore have been reversed during the quarter,” said the company.