File photo of Union Food Processing Minister, Harsimrat Kaur Badal
Recall of many food products from the market, including instant noodles Maggi has created an environment of fear in the industry, says Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
While addressing a conference at an industry body, Mrs Badal said, "Without mentioning the big elephant in the room of food processing industry, the FSSAI; I would say that a lot needs to be done to remove the recent road blocks or I would say fear psychosis in the industry."
Last month, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ordered Nestle India to withdraw Maggi noodles after tests by labs on some samples were reportedly found to contain higher - than - permissible levels of lead and presence of monosodium glutamate (a taste enhancer).
The company has rejected the charges, but has withdrawn their popular brand from the market. It has also challenged the ban on Maggi in the Bombay High Court.
After the ban on Maggi, the FSSAI had ordered testing of noodles, pastas and macaroni brands such as Top Ramen, Foodles and Wai Wai sold and manufactured by seven companies, to check their compliance with the norms.
Mrs Badal said, "It (FSSAI) needs to streamline its regulations... provisions as its steps are stopping innovations in the processing sector."
Nestle had claimed that it has taken a hit of more than Rs 320 crore ($45 million) from the withdrawal and destruction of its Maggi instant noodles.