NEW DELHI (AP) — Food and drinks giant Nestle is hopeful of selling Maggi noodles in India again after a court on Thursday ordered fresh testing of the popular snack banned across India for unsafe levels of lead.
The Mumbai High Court ruled that Nestle India will be free to resume manufacturing and selling noodles after six weeks if fresh tests at three designated Indian laboratories go in its favor.
Nestle India welcomed the court order setting aside the government ban. In June, India's Health Ministry ordered removal of Nestle noodles from stores across the country. It said that the popular brand failed to pass safety tests conducted by several states with lead levels beyond permissible limits.
Nestle has contested results of the tests and says its noodles are safe.
The court ruled that the government ban was untenable because Nestle India was not given a proper hearing. It also said the laboratories where tests were carried out were not labs authorized by the federal government, the Press Trust of India said.
The tests also detected the chemical flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which is not mentioned in the product's list of ingredients.
Nestle India said its Maggi noodles "are completely safe and have been trusted in India for over 30 years."
The company had sought a "review and interpretation" of the ban in a petition filed in the Mumbai High Court.
After the ban was announced, Nestle India said it would destroy instant noodles worth 3.2 billion rupees ($50 million).