Thursday, May 21, 2015

Excessive Lead: FDA Officials Recall Maggi Packets Kept For Sale

UP FSDA finds MSG & Lead beyond limits in Maggi noodles ; seeks recall

Food major Nestle is in trouble as Food Safety and Drug Administration in Uttar Pradesh has asked the company to withdraw Maggi, one of its popular brands of noodles, from all the retail outlets in the state.

The action was taken as tests on one of the samples of the product confirmed presence of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and Lead way above permissible limits. The particular sample was collected from an EasyDay retail outlet in Barabanki district, which is located around 30 km north of Lucknow.

Speaking to FnB news, Anant Swarup, chief food safety officer, FSDA Uttar Pradesh, explains, “The food safety authority of the state has asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to cancel the licence of the company producing the particular brand and conduct a nationwide quality check of this product to ensure food safety.”

While FSSAI stated that it would take action after it obtained test results and information from state authorities, Nestle denied the claims and maintained that the chemicals added were within permissible limits as per FSSAI guidelines.

However, this statement was contradictory to the samples collected and sent for testing in the referral lab in Kolkata that found 17.5 parts per million (ppm) Lead, whereas the permitted level of Lead in noodles by FSSAI was 0.02 ppm. According to experts, this may cause severe health problems by affecting internal organs such as liver and intestine.

Further, MSG was detected from a packet, which declared 'no added MSG.' Reportedly MSG ‘creates an addiction’ to the product, particularly among  children and is used as a flavouring substance.

Meanwhile, FSDA has already started a full-fledged investigation by collecting samples from different parts of the state and if more chemicals are found, may lead to the cancellation of licence of the company.

Vijay Bahadur, assistant commissioner (food safety), FSDA Uttar Pradesh, states, “It has also initiated an investigation in all districts of the state by collecting samples and testing in laboratories to check amount of chemicals present.”

Bahadur explained that the chemicals detected in the noodles were of serious concern due to the health problems they might cause. While MSG can be used as a material to generate addiction, particularly among children, high levels of Lead can cause serious damages to internal organs including liver and intestine. Therefore, it has been ordered to be off-the market for public safety.

According to V K Pandey, designated officer, Barabanki district, FSDA Uttar Pradesh, MSG was normally used as a flavouring substance in packed and processed foods.

He said that in this case, presence of MSG and its use as a substance for addiction was reported and alleged that the presence of lead was beyond the permissible limit. He added that the officers were collecting more samples from various retail outlets to verify the quality of the products and detection of such chemicals during quality check by food safety authorities may result in cancellation of licence or even banning of the brand.

While, FSDA holds the authority to withdraw such products, FSSAI has the right to cancel the licence to the product after proper test results.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

UP court ruling may hit Amway flagship brand- Nutrilite Daily

NEW DELHI: A lower court in Uttar Pradesh has pronounced that the United States-headquartered direct selling company Amway has been making false and misleading health claims for its vitamin supplement Nutrilite Daily and violating India's food law.

The ruling could cast a shadow on the multinational company's flagship brand Nutrilite, under which it sells a range of products including vitamin supplements and protein powder.

After hearing a complaint filed by the food regulator, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India or FSSAI, the court said in a recent order that Amway has been claiming that its product has exclusive natural extracts such as 'phytofactors plant compounds from Nutrilite's exclusive plant concentrates', without citing any scientific evidence to back it.

The court also slapped a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on the company. Amway said that it has already challenged the order in Food Safety Appellate Tribunal at Meerut and got a stay order.

The Greater Noida court also found Amway's claim - that its special coating called 'Nutrilite exclusive nutria lock' makes it easier to swallow tablets - misleading and without proof, and said that it fails to understand how the company's coating is exclusive and different from those used by several other drug making companies for the same purpose.

The judge also took note of the fact that FSSAI's product approval division has rejected applications for several other products under Nutrilite series such as Iron-Folic, Natural 'B' and Bio C, among others. The food regulator argued before the court that it has become a trend for many drug-making companies to project their medicinal products as 'food' to escape the tighter regulations under Drug and Cosmetics Act, and expensive and time consuming clinical trials mandated under it.

Leading brand consultants said the adverse impact of one subbrand has a negative rub-off on other sub-brands under the umbrella brand. "An adverse event like this absolutely has the potential to make a dent in the brand image of the entire Nutrilite range of products, albeit not to the extent of damage faced by the brand of the product in question, Nutrilite Daily in this case," said Harish Bijoor, CEO of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.

Amway said it doesn't think that the ruling will hit the brand image of Nutrilite in India.

"We have moved Food Safety Appellate Tribunal at Meerut challenging this order which questioned claims made through product merchandising literature of Nutrilite Daily. The Tribunal vide an order dated May 07, 2015 has stayed the order passed by ADM, Gautam Budh Nagar, Greater Noida. We are hopeful of getting a positive order in our appeal as we have adequate substantiation for all the claims made in the product merchandising literature of Nutrilite Daily," said an Amway spokesperson

Claiming that Nutrilite is the world's No. 1 selling vitamins and dietary supplements brand, he added that all Nutrilite products globally comply with World Health Organisation and International guidelines like CODEX for vitamin and mineral content.

"The Nutrilite range has been manufactured and sold in India, after getting requisite licences under the food law, for more than a decade. Nutrilite Daily was launched in India in 2002 and we have lakhs of satisfied customers here," he said.

According to media reports published in March, of the over Rs 2,000 crore annual revenue that Amway clocks in India, the Nutrilite range of products accounts for 55%, beauty products portfolio contribute another 30% while the balance comes from the company's homecare range.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

ജില്ലയിൽ ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷ പ്രഹസനം;പരിശോധനയ്ക്ക് ആകെയുള്ളത് ആറ് പേർ...

പാരിപ്പള്ളി: കുടിവെള്ളത്തിലുൾപ്പെടെ മായം കലർന്നിട്ടും ലൈസൻസില്ലാതെ ഭക്ഷണ വ്യാപാരം പൊടിപൊടിക്കുമ്പോഴും നടപടിയെടുക്കേണ്ട ജില്ലാമേധാവിയടക്കമുള്ള ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥർ അസൗകര്യങ്ങളുടെ പടുകുഴിയിൽ വീർപ്പുമുട്ടുന്നത് കരിഞ്ചന്തക്കാർക്ക് സഹായകമാകുന്നു. ഭക്ഷണ സാധനങ്ങളും വെള്ളവും മാലിന്യമുക്തമെന്ന് ഉറപ്പുവരുത്തേണ്ട ജില്ലയിലെ ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ ഉദ്യേഗസ്ഥരാണ് അടിസ്ഥാന സൗകര്യങ്ങൾ പോലുമില്ലാതെ നട്ടം തിരിയുന്നത്. ജില്ലയിൽ പുതുതായി രൂപീകരിച്ച അഞ്ച് ഓഫീസുകളടക്കം ആകെയുള്ള പതിനൊന്ന് എണ്ണത്തിൽ ആറ് ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥർ മാത്രമാണ് ഉള്ളത്. പുതുതായി രൂപീകരിച്ച കുണ്ടറ,ചടയമംഗലം, ചവറ, ചാത്തന്നൂർ, ഇരവിപുരം എന്നിവിടങ്ങളിൽ ഫുഡ് സേഫ്റ്റി ഓഫീസറെ മാത്രമാണ് നിയമിച്ചിട്ടുള്ളത്. ശിപായിയും ക്ലാർക്കുമില്ലാത്തതിനാൽ ഓഫീസ് അടിച്ചുവാരലും വൈകിട്ട് പൂട്ടേണ്ട ബാധ്യതയും ഇവരുടെ തലയിലാണ്. ജില്ല മുഴുവനും ഓടി നടന്ന് പരിശോധിക്കാൻ ആകെയുള്ളത് ഒറ്റ വാഹനം മാത്രം .അതും വാടക വണ്ടി . ഇതിന് ഒരു മാസം പരമാവധി ഓടാവുന്ന ദൂരം  2500 കി.മീ. ഒറ്റയ്ക്ക് പരിശോധനയ്ക്ക് പോകാൻ പാടില്ലെന്ന് സർക്കാർ ഉത്തരവുള്ളതിനാൽ ഒന്നിലധികം പേർ ചേർന്നാണ് പരിശോധന നടത്തുന്നതെന്ന് അസി.ഫുഡ് സേഫ്റ്റി കമ്മിഷണർ മിനി പറഞ്ഞു. ചാത്തന്നൂർ മണ്ഡലത്തിലെ നൂറിലധികം സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളിലെ പരിശോധനക്കായി ആറ് മാസം മുമ്പാണ് പുതിയ  ഓഫീസ് അനുവദിച്ചത്. ഇവിടെ വൈദ്യുതി പോലുമില്ല. ലൈസൻസ്, രജിസ്ട്രേഷൻ തുടങ്ങിയ പേപ്പർ ജോലികൾ വീട്ടിലിരുന്ന് ശരിയാക്കേണ്ട ഗതികേടിലാണ് ഇവിടത്തെ വനിതാ ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥ. പാരിപ്പള്ളി മാർക്കറ്റിലും പരിസരത്തും അനധികൃത മാംസ വ്യാപാരം പൊടിപൊടിക്കുന്നതായി നാട്ടുകാർ പരാതി പറഞ്ഞിട്ട് നാളേറെയായെങ്കിലും പരിശോധന നടത്തണമെങ്കിൽ ജില്ലയിലെ മറ്റ് ഓഫീസുകളിലെ ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥർ കൂടി എത്തിച്ചേരണം.എല്ലാവരുടെയും സമയം നോക്കി പരിശോധന എന്ന് നടക്കുമെന്നോർത്ത് നെടുവീർപ്പിടുകയാണ് പ്രദേശവാസികൾ. കൂടാതെ വേനൽ കടുത്തതോടെ മലിനജലം ടാങ്കർ ലോറികളിൽ നിറച്ച് കുടിവെള്ളമെന്ന വ്യാജേന വിൽപ്പന നടത്തുന്നത് തടയാൻ കഴിയാതെ നിസ്സഹായരായി നോക്കിനിൽക്കാനേ ഇവർക്കാവുന്നുള്ളൂ.