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Post-Maggi, Will India Crack on Others?

maggiThe entire controversy surrounding Maggi Masala has unfolded the entire gamut of lenient authorities in India prompting domestic food manufacturers to violate norms and multinationals following suit with little respect to global standards set in their own countries.

Born in a hugely populated country, Indians have grown to belittle the life of others, let alone own family members in their greed for money and survival. In such a battle for survival, regulators cannot be expected to crack the whip but to blink to make little more money for their future survival.

What Maggi owner and Nestle global CEO Paul Bulcke blurted out in a press conference in India was essentially the same view when he said his company followed Indian norms, not regulations to push its products in India with excessive lead and added MSG but labeling the product “No Addes MSG”, which is a taste enhancer. But he insisted saying, “We felt unfounded reasons resulted in confusion and the trust of consumers was shaken.” So, they violated not rules but ethics.

Anyway, now that Maggi has blatantly violated the norms, the attention should turn on other MNCs in India which sell their products with added and sometimes excessive levels of flavour to push their product but labeling them safe as per strictures. Who is going to score the markets for such millions of food items being sold with illegal labels?

Despite strict regulations, even the US and European countries have failed to restrain the MNCs and with ill-equipped machinery, Indian regulators cannot be expected to stretch to the levels of global standards to make food available in compliance with set norms for added flavours.

The taste of chips, noodles, biscuits, fluffy items, global chicken joints, burgers, pizzas and colas should come under scrutiny now. But do we have the kind of rules and machinery to enforce our own standards on them, leave alone global standards? Until then, the cheap products belittle the cheap Indian life.

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