The Maggi noodle samples that were sent for lead and monosodium glutamate content testing from Bhutan to India and Thailand have been found safe and acceptable. This was revealed by the Agriculture and Forests Minister during the 17th Meet-the-Press on July 3.
On June 5, Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, issued a public notification that Maggi noodles is temporarily banned from display and sale in Bhutan.
Maggi was banned in India, after the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India regulators found high levels of lead content and taste enhancer, monosodium glutamate (MSG).
“We are reviewing it, but we should be very cautious,” Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said. Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Yeshey Dorji, said that 39 Maggi samples were tested in the Export Inspection Agency in Kolkata and Food Testing Bureau in India and Thailand.
Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said the test results in India did not show any abnormal content of lead and MSG, and the samples tested in Thailand also found similar test results. In addition, Lyonpo said that although there is a BAFRA food testing laboratory in Yusipang, Thimphu, however, the Maggi samples could not be tested as the laboratory did not have the equipments and proper technology to conduct the testing. He said that food-testing laboratory in India and Thailand have signed memorandum of understanding with Bhutan to test the food which cannot be tested in Bhutan.
Lyonpo said that the government has withdrawn Maggi sales since Nestle India had withdrawn and even advised the government of India to do the same as a temporary measure. He also cited examples of countries, like the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, that once withdrew Maggi noodles, but have now cleared the Maggi noodles after finding acceptable lead and MSG levels in the test runs. The international media also reported that the content of lead and MSG is within the permissible limit, and Nestle India will soon resume the export of Maggi noodles.