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Maggi controversy: Violation of standards will make brand ambassadors liable

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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