India has ordered nationwide safety tests on Maggi noodles, a snack that’s hugely popular with college students, after local tests found unhealthy levels of lead and MSG in them.
The noodles, made by Nestle’s Indian arm, have been at the center of a growing storm since late May, when the results of laboratory tests in the state of Uttar Pradesh hit the headlines in India.
The tests found nearly seven times the permissible levels of lead and excess levels of the additive monosodium glutamate (MSG), leading India's government to call for countrywide safety tests on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Delhi's authorities have banned the noodles from the capital city for 15 days, the BBC reported.
In India, packets of the much-loved snack — which can easily be compared to pot noodles in the U.K. and the ramen noodles ubiquitous in American college dorms — are on sale even at the tiniest of street stalls, and cost as little as 10 rupees ($0.16), the website Scroll.in has reported. Maggi's well-known advertising campaign promises the product will be ready in just two minutes.
Nestle India says its extensive internal tests show that its products are safe, according to Reuters.
Lots of people in India joked on Twitter that nothing could put them off Maggi – not even, er, lead poisoning.
Well, we think they were joking.
And others lamented its absence in Delhi’s supermarkets.
And this journalist imagined an underground trade springing up, especially considering that one Indian state banned beef earlier this year.
Shyamantha Asokan is a foreign news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Shyamantha Asokan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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