Nestle Takes India’s Food Regulator to Court Over Noodle Recall

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Nestle SA’s unit in India has filed a case in a local court to challenge an order by the country’s food safety regulator for the Swiss food-maker to recall its Maggi instant noodles.

Bloomberg

Nestle India Ltd. has approached the Bombay High Court to raise issues with the regulator’s interpretation of the law dealing with food safety, it said in a statement Thursday.

The company is also seeking a judicial review of last Friday’s order by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, in which it said the noodles were “unsafe and hazardous”.

The challenge by Nestle is the latest development in a deepening crisis that started when a routine test found excessive lead in its popular Maggi noodles. The company had maintained that its products are safe and chief executive officer Paul Bulcke said last week Nestle held “intense” discussions with Indian regulators over testing methodology.

Singapore’s food regulator Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority, which had briefly halted sales of Maggi noodles imported from India, said in a June 8 statement that its lab tests found the products were safe to eat.

Nestle India’s shares have slumped about 9 percent so far this month amid the noodle crisis. They were trading 0.5 percent higher at 6,088 rupees as of 12:42 p.m. in Mumbai.

At least 12 Indian states have banned the products so far, according to the Press Trust of India. Nestle, in its court challenge, is also seeking a review of the noodle ban by Maharashtra state, where Mumbai is based.