The country's largest food company by revenue, Nestle India, has contested the ban on Maggi noodles, saying that Section 22 of the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006, which was invoked by the country's apex food regulator when prohibiting its manufacture and sale in a June 5 order, could not be the basis of the ban. Arguing the matter in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, Nestle India's counsel Iqbal Chagla said Section 22 could not act as a bar.
Section 22, for the record, indicates that genetically-modified food, organic foods, functional foods and proprietary food, cannot be manufactured, distributed or sold unless notified by the central government. Maggi noodles falls under the category of proprietary foods.
Chagla impressed upon the court that there were no specific standards governing proprietary food, which constituted five per cent of the food categories covered under the Act.
"Proprietary food is not unsafe," Chagla told the division bench headed by V M Kanade and B P Colabawala. "If Section 22 is not a bar, then Section 16 is irrelevant," he said.
Arguments in the matter will continue on July 22.
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