Nestlé’s Maggi Noodles is everybody’s go-to snack. It’s no surprise that you would find packets of Maggi in almost every Indian’s house. But unfortunately, Nestle has been under the scanner in the last few days over the heightened amount of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the 2-minute-instant noodles. What started as a routine inspection into the product has now become a storm all across the country. Here’s everything you need to know about the scandal:
• MSG is a type of amino-acid found in various food products. It is used to enhance flavor. MSG consumption leads to nausea, upset digestive system, headaches, etc.
• Uttar Pradesh was the first state to highlight the problem when the FDA reported finding MSG and lead seven times the allowed amount.
• The FDA then asked to cancel the license of Maggi, so that it can be tested across all states.
• The samples were sent to Kerala and Kolkata for testing and it was found unsafe for consumption.
• After getting information on adulteration, Uttar Pradesh officials asked Nestle India to withdraw a batch of Maggi noodles from the market.
• Celebrities who endorsed Maggi were also pulled into the scandal and taken to court including Amitabh Bachcan, Madurii Dixit and Preity Zinta.
• Activists appealed for bans all across India. The bans started in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.
• Each state started doing its own testing to determine the MSG and lead amount in the food.
• The Indian Army has also banned Maggi to be served in their canteens.
• Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke has stated that they do not add MSG in the product and that they are withdrawing it from all shelves in the markets due to the panic spread amongst their consumers.
• Several big chains in the country have already removed thousands of packets.
• The market share of Nestle has dropped down drastically, as Maggi was a large contributor to Nestle’s revenues. This controversy has wiped out nearly Rs 10000 Crore from their market cap in 5 trading sessions.
With state after state banning Maggi over the presence of lead and ’MSG’, Nestle said it is withdrawing the product from Indian market due to "unfounded confusions" that has affected the consumer trust, but maintained that its noodles are safe for consumption. This is a huge blow to Nestle, who are not new to controversy, and are finding a way to bounce back into the market.