Maggi in Soup: Meet the whistleblower and know how the controversy unfolded

Lucknow, June 3: Many maggie lovers in the country have been going through a tough phase as their favourite, easy-to-make food product faced ban.

In Delhi, Maggi has been banned for 15 days from Wednesday, June 3. Nestle India has landed in a serious legal soup following the recent controversy over one of its most famous products Maggi.


But do you know who is the whistleblower in this case? Meet the person who has been hailed as one hero.

  • VK Pandey is the man. He is Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) officer.
  • 40-year-old Pandey is based in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Earlier he had filed case against Britannia cake and famous Wahid's Biryani.
  • Britannia used to print a warning about the cake being non-vegetarian in red color, instead of brown as is prescribed in the FSDA rule book.
  • Pandey filed a case in court and Britannia was forced to print the warning of non-vegetarian products in brown colour.
  • Pandey also had filed case against Lucknow-special Wahid's Biryani.
  • He had claimed that there was an issue with colour used in the biryani.

[The Maggi controversy: What is MSG?]

How the maggi controversy unfolded?

  • On March 10, 2014, a team-led by Pandey had collected a few maggi samples from one retailer in Barabanki.
  • He had sent the samples to test whether Nestle India was complying with its stated claim that Maggi doesn't contain MSG.
  • In one test in Gorakhpur, it was proved that MSG was used more than the prescribed level.
  • The FSDA, Barbanki, had sent a notice to Nestle India asking its officers to appear before a designated officer under section 46(4) of the FSDA Act.
  • However, the company had challenged the authority of the designated officer to start prosecution against them.
  • Facing resistance, Pandey had sent another notice to Nestle India.
  • The company then had paid a requisite fee of Rs 1,000 for getting maggi samples tested in the Kolkata laboratory.
  • Kolkata laboratory is considered as one of the best laboratories in the country.
  • Test in Kolkata laboratory not only confirmed the presence of MSG in Maggi but also detected dangerously high lead content in the Maggi samples.
  • It was reported that Maggi samples were contained 17 parts per million against the permissible lead content of 0.01 parts per million,
  • The discovery prompted authorities in other states of the country to determine if Maggi is safe.

[More trouble for Maggi: After Delhi Govt, Big Bazaar, other stores stop sale of 2-Minute noodles]

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