India’s ban on the sale of Nestle’s Maggi instant noodles over safety concerns has cost the company $3.2 billion rupees (44.5 million euros, $50.5 million).
India’s food safety regulators had banned the product over test which it said showed high levels of lead in the product.
The company in a news release, however, reconfirmed that MAGGI Noodles in India are safe.
Notwithstanding, Nestlé India has decided to pull the product from shelves nationwide in light of public and media concerns around the product.
The company has argued that the current confusion does not provide a conducive environment to have the product in the market, at this moment.
Speaking to the media, Mr. Paul Bulcke, Global Chief Executive, Nestlé said: “The trust of our consumers and the safety and quality of our products is our foremost priority everywhere in the world. Unfortunately, recent developments and growing concerns about the product have led to confusion for the consumer to such an extent that we have decided to take the product temporarily off the shelves, in spite the product being safe”.
The company said that it applies the same quality standards and the same food safety and quality assurance systems everywhere in the world. This also prominently applies to MAGGI Noodles in India.
Nestle, in its response to concerns around the level of lead in its product, said it has conducted extensive, additional tests on over 1000 batches of MAGGI Noodles at its own accredited labs, complimented by tests on over 600 batches at external laboratories.
The results, according to the company, have indicated that MAGGI Noodles are safe and well within the regulatory limits established in India. Nestlé has shared these results with the authorities as well as with the broader public online.
The company also confirmed that it does not add MSG (E621) to its MAGGI Noodles in India, as stated on the label. As some ingredients like groundnut protein, onion powder, and wheat flour contain glutamate naturally, this may have led to the confusion and as such Nestlé has decided to remove the specific mention of “No Added MSG” from the label.
“With the consumer in mind, we will do everything it takes, and are fully engaged with the authorities, to clarify the situation to have MAGGI Noodles back on the shelves at the earliest.” Mr. Bulcke added.
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