New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked a government laboratory in Mysore to clarify whether its tests on Maggi noodles show lead and monosodium glutamate or MSG within safe limits.
It also asked food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India or FSSAI to send more samples of Maggi noodles to the Mysore lab, observing that the lab has in two communications to the court said it needs more samples to carry out checks on parameters other than lead and MSG.
"We have perused the test reports. We would like Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore to apprise this court on two aspects, whether the test report relating to lead and glutamic acid are within the permissible parameters and to clarify that those are within parameters prescribed under the Food Safety Act," Justice Dipak Misra said today.
Nestle India, the makers of the popular snack, initially opposed sending more samples, arguing that the court had in December asked the lab only to test for lead and MSG, It later said it had no objection as long as the lab first tested for lead and MSG.
The Centre has argued that there is a need for comprehensive findings on Maggi noodles.
"Maggi noodles are bought by the younger generation. We have more concern for their safety," the court said today, giving the Mysore lab eight weeks to submit its report. The court will now take up the case on April 4.
The Supreme Court is hearing a petition by FSSAI against a Bombay High Court order lifting a ban on Maggi noodles. It is also hearing Nestle's plea against an order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission for more tests on Maggi in Chennai.
Maggi was banned in June 2015 by the FSSAI, which alleged that the instant noodles were "unsafe and hazardous" with lead beyond safe limits. Nestle had then pulled the product off shelves.
The instant noodle made a comeback in November after passing tests at three government labs, after which the Bombay High Court removed the ban.