Maggi noodles temporarily banned from display and sale in Bhutan
The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests has issued a public notification yesterday that Maggi noodles will be temporarily banned from display and sale in Bhutan.
The notification states that in wake of the ongoing Maggi noodles safety issue in India, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (PSSAI) issued notification dated 5th June, 2015 asking Nestle India to withdraw and recall the Maggi noodles from the market as it is found unsafe and hazardous for human consumption.
The authority notifies the public that the Maggi noodles manufactured by Nestle India are being temporarily banned from display and sale in the country with immediate effect since the source of the imported product is from India.
The notification as per the authority has been issued as per the Section 42 to 49 of the Food Act of Bhutan 2005 which states that where it appears any food discovered in a food business, premises or vehicle or in possession of any person is unfit for human consumption or is likely o cause harm or danger to human health, the food may be seize by the food inspector and the owner of the food will be not be allowed to be sold, removed, manipulated, tampered with or otherwise. Otherwise a written order will be issued to
temporarily ordering the food to be removed to some specific place.
The general public are requested to extend full cooperation to BAFRA at the toll free # 155 and inform if any Maggi noodles are being sold in the market.
Maggi a two minute noodles which is a favorite among the children came under scanner due to high level of lead contents and monosodium glutamate widely known as MSG. Nestle the manufacturer of Maggi brand pulled out their products from the stores after the regulators found high level of lead in some packet.
Speaking to BT the regional manager of Tashi Commercial Corporation in Thimphu, one of the authorized dealers for Nestle products in Bhutan said that he was not aware of such notification as of yesterday. He said that they have not sold a single cartoons of Maggi from their stores in Thimphu for the last fifteen days after the news about the unsafe Maggi came out in the media. They used to sell 1000 cartons of Maggi per month.
Tashi Yangzom, the regulatory and quarantine officer with BAFRA said that as per the mandate of the authority there will be no sale of Maggi in the market and the field officials has been informed about the ban and will be on fields inspecting the shops, retail outlets and whole sale stores.
She was not sure as to how long the ban will be put in place as the products are imported from India.
“Until and unless the food regulatory authorities in India lift the ban, the product will not be allowed to be sold in the Bhutanese market:” she added.
The authority intends to take help from the relevant stakeholders like the Department of Trade and respective Dzongkhags to put the ban in place.
As per the media reports over the past days, several Indian states, including Delhi, have banned the popular instant food, saying laboratory tests of samples tested for dangerous high levels of lead.
The ban came about two weeks after initial concerns about Maggi noodles were raised in the state of Uttar Pradesh.