Tuesday July 17, 2018

Only these 7 pasta brands have been given green chit by FSSAI after Maggi mess

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New Delhi: Instant noodles and pastas with taste-makers of only seven companies are allowed to be sold in India, the food safety watchdog said on Monday, while also ordering tests on all approved variants and calling for the remaining “illegal” ones to be destroyed.

The seven companies that have approvals for their variants of instant noodles and pastas with taste-makers are:

FSSAI Approved Pastas & Noodles Companies Are:

  • Ruchi International (Koka)
  • CG Foods (Wai Wai)
  • Glaxosmithkline (Foodles)
  • Nestle (Maggi)
  • AA Nutrition (Yummy)
  • Indo Nisin (Top Ramen)
  • ITC (brand not specified)

“The safety of all other products in these categories has not been assessed as per the product approval procedures. As such, the same are unauthorized and illegal and cannot be intended for human consumption,” said a letter from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Ordering tests on all the approved varieties, the letter written by chief executive Yudhvir Singh Malik to all the commissioners of food safety said that as far as all the remaining food products are concerned, they are advised to “ensure such products are recalled, removed from the market and destroyed.”

Speaking to IANS, the top food safety officer said tests on Nestle’s Maggi and some other similar products had raised serious health concerns and thus it was thought fit to conduct tests on all similar products for which approvals had been granted.

Following tests on some samples of Maggi, the watchdog on Friday had ordered the recall of all the nine variants of Maggi pan-India, and had asked Nestle to halt its production and exports. It had also issued a similar order on Nestle’s oats noodles and taste-maker.

While Nestle continues to contend that its noodles were safe for humans and that the levels of lead were within permissible limits – as opposed to the findings of some tests that purportedly indicated otherwise, several states also became pro-active by issuing their own ban orders.

“Overseas and local manufacturers would be treated equally. More noodle brands including pasta and macaroni products will also start getting tested this week,” Malik said.

On being asked if the brand ambassadors could be taken to task, he said: “As of now, we are not considering any action.”

The regulator also detailed the process involved in the recall of food products.

“Ideally, consumers should be able to return the product at the retail outlet and get their money back if they have the bill with them. It is also Nestle’s responsibility to let the consumers return their products, if they have kept the bill with them,” he said.

The regulator also plans to post a list of all approved noodle products on its web site and advise the state authorities to test them. “We understand Delhi, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have already started testing other brands. We will list all the approved noodle products soon.”

He further said that Nestle had been asked to give the regulator an update on compliance first after three days and then regularly until the end. “Because we understand that it could take 10 days or more, we will be taking regular progress reports from the company,” Malik said.

-IANS

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Mysterious Health Incidents Affect 1 More American in Cuba

In all, 25 Americans have been affected by the mystery ailment in Cuba

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A view of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba on Sept.18, 2017.
A view of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba on Sept.18, 2017. VOA

One more U.S. Embassy employee in Havana, Cuba, has been affected by mysterious health incidents, the State Department said.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said one of two Americans recently evacuated from Cuba was “medically confirmed” to have been affected, while the other was “still being evaluated” by doctors.

25 Americans affected

In all, 25 Americans have been affected by the mystery ailment in Cuba.

“We still don’t know, to this day, what is causing it and who is responsible,” Nauert said, noting that investigations were underway in Havana as well as Guangzhou, China, where one employee experienced similar symptoms recently.

The United States has said that the Cuba incidents started in late 2016. The State Department calls them “specific attacks” but has not said what caused them or who was behind them. Cuba has adamantly denied involvement or knowledge.

Initial speculation centered on some type of sonic attack owing to strange sounds heard by those affected, but an interim FBI report in January found no evidence that sound waves could have caused the damage, The Associated Press has reported.

Secretary Kerry Touts Virtues of 10-Year U.S.-China Business and Tourism Visas Before Presenting First Documents in Beijing
Secretary Kerry Touts Virtues of 10-Year U.S.-China Business and Tourism Visas Before Presenting First Documents in Beijing, flickr

Warning issued in China

The State Department issued a health warning after the employee in China reported experiencing “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure” and was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described it as a “serious medical incident.”

Also read: Cuba Invites United Nations human rights Investigator for first time in decade regarding Human Trafficking

The new confirmation came less than a week after the U.S. renewed demands on Cuba to determine the source of the “attacks” on U.S. diplomats. Cuba responded by again denying any involvement in or knowledge of any such attacks. (VOA)