Friday 12 June 2015

Maggi noodles - are they safe?

Source: The Hindu
You may have heard that following an investigation Maggi Noodles have been withdrawn from sale in India in the last few weeks.

Following pressure from a consumer group, they have now also been withdrawn in East Africa.

This started when tests performed (131Kb pdf file) by the Indian Food Safety and Standards Authority appeared to show that the levels of lead found in the noodles were much higher than permitted. Their report suggests that the "sample taken by the establishment of the Commissioner of Food Safety [...] found presence of lead at 17.2 ppm" (ppm is "parts per million"). The permitted level of lead in such foodstuffs in India is only 2.5 ppm.

Meanwhile Nestlé, who manufacture these noodles, say that they have conducted their own tests which show that the Indian results are incorrect. They are now taking legal action in India to overturn the ban.

The concern is spreading. The US Food and Drug has apparently now taken samples to test and concern is also growing here in Botswana. People are posting links to scare stories on Facebook and so far two radio stations have contacted us for interviews.

So what do we advise?

At the moment all we consumers can see is an argument over two differing sets of test results. Until we get more evidence we should be prudent.

Don't panic. Just be cautious until further tests are published and we can know the truth.

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