In­dian court over­turns Nes­tle noo­dle ban

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

An In­dian court on Thurs­day over­turned a gov­ern­ment ban on Nes­tle’s hugely pop­u­lar Maggi noo­dles brand, but or­dered fur­ther tests be­fore the prod­uct can go back on sale.

Nes­tle had gone to the court to chal­lenge the na­tion­wide ban or­dered by In­dia’s food safety watchdog in June af­ter tests by some states found lead lev­els ex­ceeded statu­tory lim­its.

The Swiss food gi­ant has al­ways main­tained the prod­uct is safe to eat, and has con­tin­ued to sell it in other coun­tries.

In its judg­ment, the high court in the western city of Mum­bai called the ban “ar­bi­trary” and said it vi­o­lated the “prin­ci­ples of na­tional jus­tice.”

“We have ex­am­ined the ev­i­dence in great de­tail. Since the pe­ti­tioner Nes­tle has al­ready agreed not to make and sell Maggi un­til the food author­i­ties are sat­is­fied, we see no rea­son to al­low any re­lief to food author­i­ties,” Jus­tice Vidyasagar Kanade told the court.

“We di­rect that Nes­tle send five sam­ples from each batch of Maggi for test­ing to three labs and only if the lead is found to be lower than per­mit­ted will they start man­u­fac­tur­ing and sale again.”

Shares in Nes­tle In­dia rose nearly four per­cent af­ter the rul­ing, which came a day af­ter In­dia said it was seek­ing dam­ages of nearly US$100 mil­lion from the com­pany for “un­fair trade prac­tices.”

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