Nestle India will destroy $50 million worth of instant noodles after a sales ban imposed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Tests show that the noodles contain unusually high levels of lead.
Nestle’s Maggi noodles--first introduced to India in the early 1980s--are an extremely popular snack among India’s young students and workers. India banned the noodles earlier this month following test results proving that lead levels were far beyond India’s legal limit. Tests also indicated the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG)--an ingredient not listed on the package. Paul Bulcke, Nestle’s global chief executive, says that MSG is naturally produced during the making of the noodles and the company did not intentionally add the ingredient. Bulcke also believes that the noodles’ lead levels are in fact within India’s legal limits.
Nestle announced this week that they are gathering noodles that were distributed to various locations with plans of destroying it all. Although they will destroy an estimated $50 million worth of product, the cost of transporting and destroying the noodles has not been determined.
Nestle India ships their noodles internationally to Australia, Canada, Kenya, Singapore, UK and the U.S. Singapore is the only country that has cleared deemed the noodles safe. Other countries are still investigating.
Despite the ban, Nestle maintains that the noodles are safe for consumption. Last week, a Bombay Court rejected Nestle’s challenge, ordering the ban remain in place until a new hearing takes place on June 30.