Maggi was banned by the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on June 5 after several samples were found having lead and MSG contents beyond permissible limits.
Mumbai: Maggi noodles may be banned in India, but manufacturer Nestle has been allowed to export them, the Bombay High Court said today.
Maggi was banned by India's food regulator on June 5 after a high amount of lead and monosodium glutamate was found in samples of the popular noodles. Nestle withdrew all varieties of Maggi noodles hours before the ban, ruling it "unsafe and hazardous".
The food safety regulator said in court today: "Why blame us? If the company claims that its product is safe and follows safety standards then let it export it instead of destroying." Since it gave an all-clear, the court allowed Nestle India to export the product.
Nestle has challenged the ban on nine variants of Maggi noodles, describing it as "unauthorised, arbitrary and unconstitutional for violating the right to equality and trade." The company has questioned the standards of testing behind the ban also says it violates the principles of natural justice as it was not given a proper hearing.
Nestle estimates a hit of more than Rs 3.2 billion for recalling and destroying Maggi packets - the biggest ever withdrawal of any product by the company. The company told the court that 17,000 crore packets of Maggi were being destroyed.
The food giant has been battling its worst-ever branding crisis in India since a regulator in Uttar Pradesh found monosodium glutamate and excess lead in a sample of its noodles.