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Bombay HC to give verdict in Maggi ban challenge on Monday

The Bombay high court will deliver its verdict on Monday over food multinational Nestle India’s petition challenging the orders of FSSAI and Maharashtra’s FDA banning its products last month for containing toxic substances.

Nestle has contended that its products do not contain lead in excess of permissible limits and also challenged the tests conducted by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).

The food regulators reiterated that the lead content detected in Maggi during tests by renowned labs was detrimental to public health.

A division bench, comprising Justice VM Kanade and Justice BP Colabawala, here on Friday reserved its order till August 3 (Monday).

Both the parties also failed to reach a consensus to the court’s suggestion to conduct new independent tests before the court verdict.

Nestle’s lawyer Iqbal Chagla, instructed by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, said the company was ready for the fresh tests, but these should be conducted in the presence of a renowned scientist on the (product) samples available with the company.

However, FDA’s counsel Darius Khambata wanted at least one of the samples to be included from the lot collected from the state.

Chagla argued that while three Maggi variants were tested, the regulators banned all the nine variants, and rejected FSSAI’s allegations that the company destroyed evidence by burning Maggi stocks.

On June 5, the FSSAI banned all nine variants of Maggi noodles from the market following reports about lead and monosodium glutamate content higher than permissible limits in the products.

The FFSAI order said the samples had been found unsafe and hazardous for human consumption and asked it to stop further production, processing, imports, distribution and sale.

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