Citizens' Issues
Maggi noodles safe, lab tests clear all samples: Nestle
Nestle India said on Friday that 100 percent of the Maggi instant noodles' samples tested in three laboratories have been cleared and that the noodles are safe for human consumption.
 
Armed with these reports, the Indian arm of the Swiss multinational food giant plans to resume soon the production of Maggi noodles that were banned last June amid concerns over high lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) content.
 
In a statement, Nestle said the results have been received from all three labs mandated by the Bombay High Court to test samples of noodles manufactured by the company.
 
"All 90 samples, covering six variants, tested by the three laboratories, are clear, with lead much below the permissible limits," the Nestle statement added.
 
The company assured it would continue to collaborate with the Indian food regulator, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and other stakeholders on the issue.
 
"In compliance with the Bombay High Court orders, we will now commence manufacture and will begin selling only after the newly manufactured products are also cleared by the three designated laboratories. We are committed to reintroduce our Maggi noodles (in the Indian market) at the earliest," Nestle said.
 
In the past few months, Nestle conducted around 3,500 tests representing 200 million packs in national and international accredited laboratories and all reports were clear.
 
Besides, tests in several other countries like the US, Britain, Australia and Singapore also found Maggi noodles manufactured in India safe for human consumption.
 
In June, the FSSAI ordered a nationwide ban on the company's noodles on the ground that these were "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption due to presence of lead allegedly beyond permissible limits. 
 
The MNC withdrew its instant noodles from the Indian market as a result and moved the Bombay High Court against the FSSAI ban.
 
A division bench comprising Justices V.M. Kanade and B.P. Colabawalla in August set aside the June 5 order of the FSSAI and also quashed an order of Maharashtra's Food and Drugs Administration banning production and sale of Maggi noodles in India and the state.
 
The court, however, ordered fresh test on Maggi noodles' samples at three independent labs across India.
 
Nestle India was directed to send five samples of each variant to accredited labs in Punjab, Hyderabad and Jaipur and asked the labs to give reports within six weeks.
 
The consumer affairs ministry filed a class action suit against Nestle India, seeking about Rs.640 crore in damages for alleged unfair trade practices, false labelling and misleading advertisements.
 
It was for the first time that the ministry dragged a company to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) under the Consumer Protection Act.
 
However, the apex consumer court on Thursday ordered fresh tests on 13 samples of Maggi noodles from nine batches to determine lead and "MSG stock glutamate" content.
 
Nestle India on September 30 said that due to the ban, over 9,000 suppliers of Maggi noodles had gone out of business. Over 10,000-12,000 distributors also lost their livelihood. The company said it wished to resolve the matter as soon as possible and was "not interested in delaying it".
 
Suresh Narayanan, the India chief of the company, earlier said the "focus of the company is to get Nestle back on the shelves" and added that the "controversy had cast a shadow over Nestle's portfolio".
 
Narayanan told the media that the multinational company was targeting to get the product into the Indian market by the year-end.
 
Meanwhile, the shares of Nestle India rose by 5.6 percent to Rs.6,555, the biggest gain since August 5. The shares had plunged after FSSAI's recall order which resulted in the company's first ever quarterly loss in more than 15 years.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Now, buy cow dung cakes online
Not only clothes and crackers, you can also buy cow dung online this festive season.
 
Online sellers including big players like Big Basket, Shopclues, Amazon and Homeshop18 have introduced the puja samagri (items used during a puja such as camphor, incense sticks etc) online throughout the year including cow dung cakes, which are used in certain Hindu rituals around Diwali and also in havans.
 
Radhika Aggarwal, co-founder of Shopclues, told IANS, "Connecting with the festive theme, we have ensured that our consumers find a great selection of Indian products at Shopclues, especially around puja and navratras time." 
 
"Our conversion rates have almost doubled up for cow dung cakes during this festive season," she added.
 
While some player sells 24 dung cakes in a package, others offer a package of four or 11. Four cow dung cakes cost around Rs.40 but 24 cost Rs.150 with a huge discount.
 
Cow dung cakes are not easily available in urban areas but thanks to e-commerce, it is just-a-click-away product now.
 
Talking about the response Aggarwal said, "We have received a great response especially from metro cities where such products are not easily available. Our festive themed product portfolio has grown threefold during this season."
 
There are also dedicated sites like Vedic Vaani, ePooja store, PujaSamagri and Wheresmypandit which cater to such requirements of users.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Sweden on track to becoming first cashless nation
With widespread use of information technology and rapid decline in cash transactions, Sweden is on its way to becoming the world's first cashless society, says a new study.
 
The widespread and growing popularity of the mobile payment system Swish is helping hasten the day when Sweden replaces cash altogether, said researcher Niklas Arvidsson, industrial technology and management researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
 
"Cash is still an important means of payment in many countries' markets, but that no longer applies here in Sweden," Arvidsson said in a statement released by the institute recently. 
 
"Our use of cash is small, and it is decreasing rapidly," Arvidsson noted.
 
In a country where bank cards are routinely used for even the smallest purchases, there are less than 80 billion Swedish Krona (SEK) in circulation (about EUR 8 billion), a sharp decline from just six years ago, when the total in circulation was SEK106 billion.
 
"And out of that amount, only somewhere between 40 and 60 percent is actually in regular circulation," he said. 
 
The rest is socked away in people's homes and bank deposit boxes, or can be found circulating in the underground economy, the study said.
 
The result of collaboration between major Swedish and Danish banks, Swish is a direct payment app that is used for transactions between individuals, in real time. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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