This past week the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) directed Customs to suspend imports of rejected Maggi Noodles from India, since it was alleged that the batches contained high levels of Monosodium Glutamate.
The CAA had taken action based on a letter supposedly sent to them from the Indian High Commission in Colombo, a claim which the Commission vehemently denies.
“We have no reason to get involved in this matter here or in India,” the Press and Information officer at the Indian High Commission told The Nation this week after checking with the Trade attaché on the possibility of having sent such a letter. “If we really wanted to do something, we would have approached the export point in India and besides the case is under judicial consideration,” the officer from the Indian High Commission said.
Responding to this ‘letter’, the CAA sent a written request instructing customs to prevent any batches of Maggi being imported to Sri Lanka, on the basis that it would mostly be the rejected batches that would make its way here from India.
The Nation also spoke to the Director General of the CAA, J.M.A Douglas who refused to show or fax a copy of the letter stated as if it were a matter-of-fact that the letter was indeed sent to them from the Indian High Commission in Colombo.
“We took action by instructing the Customs to stop imports based on the powers vested in the authority, we have no reason to believe that the Indian High Commission didn’t send the letter, because they did and we have it.”
Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen was also stated on record citing that import of noodles from India was suspended at Customs.
“We have issued instructions to the Customs authorities not to allow noodles from India to enter the country,” he was reported to have said. He added that the CAA which comes under the purview of his ministry was in the process of collecting samples to be sent for testing overseas.
In related news, Nestle India has decided to destroy the recalled Maggi Noodles stocks at Cement plants nationwide. Salim Veljee, Director of Goa’s Food and Drugs Authority, told the Indian press on Tuesday that the cement factories that had incinerators would use the recalled stocks as fuel for cement processing.