They were found to have contained high levels of pesticides and bacteria
It looks like I will have to exercise caution when buying India-made products from at least Haldiram, MTR and Britannia in Singapore.
Several of the packaged foods made by them have been found to be unfit for consumption in tests carried out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Jingoistic Reactions: I can imagine what Indians with a proclivity for jingoism and the silly media in the country will now say — “this is a tit-for-tat reaction from the U.S. for the trouble that makers of Maggi instant noodles in India face.”
Though Nestle, makers of Maggi products, is a company headquartered in Switzerland, some vocal Indians can pitch themselves onto the nationalistic bandwagon and call the US tests a Western conspiracy to malign Indian companies.
Carried Out Before the Maggi Row: In fact, a CNN-IBN report is already saying that the “crackdown on Nestle over the Maggi controversy has probably spilled over…”
They completely ignore the fact that the US tests were carried out long before the Maggi controversy hit India, as a Wall Street Journal blog report points out.
The products rejected by the FDA were found to have contained high levels of pesticides, mould and bacteria.
In one case, the FDA referred to a product from Gujarat as consisting “in whole or part of a filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance or be otherwise unfit for food.”
The other made-in-India products that were rejected include those from such established companies such Hindustan Unilever, Heinz India and even Nestle India.
About 2100 batches of products made in India by those companies have failed to make the grade for sale in the U.S.
Indian Food Makers the Biggest Culprits: The Wall Street Journal report quotes FDA data to show that more snack imports from India were rejected than from any other country in the first five months of 2015.
“In fact, more than half of all the snack products that were tested and then blocked from sale in the U.S. this year were from India. Indian products led the world in snack rejects last year as well,” according to the report.
Incidentally, Maggi noodles made in India were found to have met safety standards and fit for consumption in tests carried out by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).
In other reports today, Air India landed itself in a spot after allegations, with photographic evidence, that a baby lizard was found in the food served on its Delhi-London flight recently.
Air India, nonetheless, says it has investigated the report and found it to be false and baseless.
G Joslin Vethakumar