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Food terrorism? Gov't hits Maggi with Rs 640 cr claim under Consumer Protection Act for us all

Someone somewhere really doesn't like dehydrated artificially flavoured noodles
Someone somewhere really doesn't like dehydrated artificially flavoured noodles

The Indian government has filed a Rs 640 crore class action on behalf of consumers with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) against Nestle India under section 12(1D) of the Consumer Protection Act, reported the PTI.

Under section 12(1)d of the Act, “the Central or the State Government, as the case may be, either in its individual capacity or as a representative of interests of the consumers in general”, may make complaints to the commission.

Reuters, quoting a government of India official yesterday, first reported yesterday that India would seek the damages for alleged unfair trade practices, false labelling and misleading advertisements, after a food scare involving reports of excess lead in the company’s popular Maggi noodles forced a nationwide recall.

Nestle would be the first foreign firm to be asked to pay damages on behalf of consumers, according to Reuters. The claim has been made at the National Consumers Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which is a national tribunal dealing in consumer dispute matters.

The Government on Tuesday decided to fix the level of damages at Rs 640 crores, the official said.

A Nestle spokesman in New Delhi said the company would only be able to “provide substantive response” after it receives an official notice about the complaint filed to the NCDRC

Maggi was banned in India after the food safety regulator (FSSAI) accused Nestle of not complying with food safety laws.

Nestle has challenged this at the Bombay high court with Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, saying its products are safe. The Bombay high court has reserved its judgment on the matter.

Maggi has been tested in various national as well as international laboratories, with varied results regarding the amount of lead and mono sodium glutamate (MSG) in the products.

Reports have claimed that the Government of India is suing Nestle for false as well as misleading advertising as they claim to have ‘taste bhi, health bhi’ (tasty as well as healthy) while excessive lead is known to have ill effects on human health.

Photo by sixth6sense

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