NEW DELHI: Taking a “serious” note of quality issues related to global giant Nestle’s famous noodle brand Maggi, the government has asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to look into the matter.
Besides, a class action suit can be initiated into the matter if a complaint with National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) is filed, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday.
Last month, the UP Food Safety and Drug Administration had asked Nestle India to withdraw a batch of Maggi noodles “which were manufactured in February 2014” after it found high levels of added MSG, a taste enhancer, in the noodles and lead beyond permissible limits.
Disputing the claim, Nestle India had said: “The company does not agree with the order and is filing the requisite representations with the authorities.”
“It is a serious issue. We have referred the matter to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Under the current law, FSSAI has the power to take action, including imposing fine and hefty punishment,” Paswan told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
There are different authorities to handle different complaints related to different consumer items, FSSAI under the Health Ministry handles food related issues, he added.
Besides FSSAI, the Consumer Affairs Ministry has also asked the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) to take action against FMCG major Nestle India on the Maggi issue.
“It is a serious issue (but) the Commission has limited powers. It cannot take suo moto action. It can file class- action suit only after someone files complaint against the company,” Paswan said.
NCDRC President Justice DK Jain said till now no one has filed a complaint against Nestle related to Maggi.
“Till now, no one has filed any complaint. Somebody has to approach us so that we take class action suit. NCDRC does not have jurisdiction to take suo moto action,” he said.
Jain further said: “There is a provision for class action. NCDRC is ready to take action after an NGO or any consumer body files a formal complaint.”