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Maggi controversy: Violation of standards will make brand ambassadors liable

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The food safety watchdog has taken more samples of Maggi noodles across India for testing after certain harmful substances were allegedly found in a batch in quantities higher-than-permissible-limits, the government said on Monday warning that violation of standards will make even brand ambassadors liable.

“FSSAI (Food Safety Standards Authority of India) has taken up the case. It will take action. We have already written to the FSSAI,” Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said at a press conference here on Monday.

Clarifying the matter, Consumer Affairs Additional Secretary G. Gurucharan said the food safety authority had taken some samples across India for testing. This was after allegations were made over “dangerous levels” of some substances in the popular snack Maggi noodles in Uttar Pradesh.

“Some reports are expected today and within two-three days we will get complete reports. All parameters are being tested,” Gurucharan said, adding: “If there is any violation, FSSAI will take action.”

Asked for his comments over Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit being served notice by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Uttarakhand for endorsing Maggi noodles, Gurucharan said the brand ambassadors will also be liable if advertisements were found to be misleading.

Uttar Pradesh Deputy Food Safety Commissioner Vijay Bahadur had said on May 21 that orders had been issued to Nestle to “look into the quality” of batches of Maggi noodles after some samples were reportedly found to contain higher-than-permissible levels of lead and monosodium glutamate.

The samples, authorities in Lucknow said, were taken from a lot in Easy Day departmental store at Barabanki, a district adjoining the state capital, in the second week of May. But Nestle said it was confident over these packs being no longer in circulation in the market.

“The company does not agree with the order and is filing the requisite representations with the authorities,” Nestle said.

The company also sought to dispel rumours that orders had been issued to recall all batches of Maggi noodles. In an e-mail statement to IANS, it said the batch in question had already passed the “best before” date in November last year, and was sure that it had automatically been recalled. IANS

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FDA Approves Device to Treat Heart Failure Patients

The health body has granted approval of the Optimizer Smart system to US-based Impulse Dynamics

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The US Food and Drug Administration has given approval for a new device that would help treat patients with life-threatening heart failure, and address an unmet need in patients who fail to get adequate benefits from standard treatments and have no alternative treatment options.

The Optimizer Smart system is comprised of several components, including an implantable pulse generator, battery charger, programmer and software. The pulse generator is implanted under the skin in the upper left or right area of the chest and connected to three leads that are implanted in the heart.

After the device is implanted, a physician tests and programmes the device, which delivers electrical impulses to the heart during regular heartbeats to help improve the heart’s squeezing capability.

The device would be beneficial for patients not suited to treatment with other heart failure devices such as cardiac resynchronisation therapy to restore a normal timing pattern of the heartbeat, the US FDA noted in a statement.

“Patients with moderate-to-severe chronic heart failure have limited treatment options. And for those who are unable to be treated due to underlying conditions or who have not responded to available treatments, their quality of life may be impacted, with limits on the types of physical activities they can do,” said Bram Zuckerman, Director at FDA’s Centre for Devices and Radiological Health.

Photo Credit: www.medscape.com

“The FDA recognised the unmet need for these patients and worked with the manufacturer…to efficiently bring this product to market, while ensuring it meets our regulatory requirements for safety and effectiveness,” Zuckerman added.

For the study, the US FDA evaluated data from two clinical trials with a total of 389 patients with moderate-to-severe heart failure.

All patients received optimal medical therapy and 191 patients also received an Optimizer Smart system implant.

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The Optimizer Smart system improves quality of life and functional status of certain heart failure patients.

The health body has granted approval of the Optimizer Smart system to US-based Impulse Dynamics. (IANS)