What is the Maggi Controversy?

Nestlé’s noodles Maggi controversy made a powerful bang on Indian manufacturers and distributors. When Bloomberg TV India had a conversation with Mr. Ashwin Bhadri, FSSAI Expert, and Equinox Labs CEO, Mr. Bhadri disclosed various aspects which made people cognizant of FSSAI Food License authority in India.

He said that 95.5 % of people were not aware of FSSAI before Maggi controversy and as a result, the whole mechanism woken up. Before Maggi controversy, FSSAI was taken liberally. Now every manufacturer is studying food safety laws to comply with prescribed rules and regulations. However, what is needed, is understanding what aspects of FSSAI people need to concentrate. The reason being, food authority has defined different laws for different products and one cannot go through vast rules. People are scared whether they are complying with FSSAI rules or not. But the ground reality is that they are already followed around 80 % of the laws, leave out only a few. And that Gap filling is the need of present time.

Research towards implementation of the law, attention towards testing of the product to secure product from any controversy should be the pillars for laying a strong foundation of a product.

E.g. Maharashtra has trained its people, enhancing their knowledge of food security laws.

FSSAI has become stringent to go to an international standard. Maggi controversy helped India to understand the power of FSSAI. People should understand that they need to live with FSSAI rules and FSSAI is not going anywhere.

FSSAI has shown people that it may cancel the food license if not complying with safety standards. It may prohibit the sale of products till that controversial product gets a green signal. It may pick any food article randomly for inspection and testify in food laboratories. Also, it may impose huge penalties on manufacturers for affecting public health in an adverse manner. On getting a complaint, it can initiate proceedings.

What people need to concentrate on:-

  • Labeling of their products,
  • Whether their product needs approval or not,
  • Whether that License is correct or not,
  • Who are their stakeholders?

FSSAI can initiate with following steps to concrete its position-

  • Educating,
  • Finding ways to Implement established rules and regulations and
  • Improving existing laws.

Related post- Nestlé’s battle with FSSAI costs Half-Billion-Dollar.