Delhi slaps 15-day ban on sale of Maggi noodles

Centre has lodged a complaint with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission against the Indian arm of the Swiss manufacturer, Nestle, and the Delhi government has imposed a 15-day ban on sale of the product.

  • Several States, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal and Odisha, have sent samples of the product for testing, while the Jammu and Kashmir government has advised people not to eat Maggi noodles till the test results are out.
  • The Army and Navy have issued advisories to their canteens to set aside the existing stocks of the popular snack until further orders.

Why?

Recently, some Maggi noodles samples reportedly found to contain higher-than-permissible levels of monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Maggi noodles has been at the centre of controversy since laboratory tests ordered by Uttar Pradesh food inspectors on a batch of the popular snack allegedly found eight times as much lead as permissible.

About Monosodium glutamate (MSG):

  • It is one of the most common, naturally occurring non-essential amino acid, which is found in tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, potatoes, mushrooms, and other vegetables and fruits.
  • In the food industry, it is used as a taste enhancer that increases the meaty, savoury flavor of food.
  • Although the U.S Food and Drug Administration recognises MSG as safe, it is considered far more harmful in India. It has long-term effects, but show signs of discomfort among sensitive people whenever consumed.
  • Typical MSG complaints include: Burning sensations of the mouth, head and neck Headaches Weakness of the arms or legs Upset stomach Hives or other allergic-type reactions with the skin.
  • Scientists have also discovered that the compound can destroy Retina and parts of the Brain. It can also lead to nervous disorders and radical hormone fluctuations.
  • Many studies have also shown that it is particularly harmful for pregnant women and nursing mothers as infants and very young children are succeptible to brain damage and underdevelopment.

Sources: The Hindu, PIB, Wiki.

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