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Maggie noodles back in India

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Nestle’s hugely popular Maggi noodles returned Monday to shelves in India five months after the government banned them over lead levels, in one of the biggest crises to hit the Swiss giant. India’s food safety watchdog banned the noodles nationwide in June after test results showed packets exceeded legal limits of lead, while criticising Nestle for failing to list flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) on labels. But the Bombay High Court, the highest court in the western city now known as Mumbai, overturned the ruling two months later, calling it “arbitrary” and ordered fresh tests. Nestle said last month those tests had found that Maggi noodles were safe to eat. It has restarted production at three of its five India plants.

Nestle lost more than 75 million Swiss francs ($74.7 million) over the ban, which forced it to destroy more than 37,000 tonnes of the noodles, India’s leading brand. “What we have been through has been like a life crisis for a human being,” Nestle India Managing Director Suresh Narayanan told reporters on Monday. “It will need investments to nurture back the brand into the health that it was,” he said of Maggi, which previously accounted for about 30 percent of the company’s Indian sales. (AFP)