Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Indian SC revives class action law suit against Nestle

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Maggi, Nestle India’s single-largest revenue earner, was banned by India’s food safety regulator FSSAI in June 2015 for six months across the country after a local food inspector in the Shahjahanpur district of Uttar Pradesh reported an excess of lead, ash, and monosodium glutamate (MSG) during a sample check.

The Supreme Court of India has revived the class action suit against multi-national food and beverage firm Nestle in the three-year old case.

The class action law suit was launched by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in 2016, India’s apex consumer dispute court, against the firm, and now it will hear the complaint filed by the government.

The court has directed the NCDRC to hear the case based only on the 2016 sample test. Thus, no fresh sample will be collected for the probe.

The test results of Nestle’s Maggi – India’s most popular brand of instant noodles – collected from different parts of the country in 2015 confirmed the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and lead beyond the permissible limit of 2.5 ppm. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in June 2015 had directed Nestle India Limited to withdraw and recall its Maggi Instant Noodles from the market.

India’s Consumer Affairs Ministry filed a complaint at the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) under Section 12 (1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, seeking damages amounting to $96 million.

The ministry filed the complaint on behalf of consumers at large, citing unfair trade practices, sale of defective goods and sale of Maggi Oats Noodles without product approval.

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