Maggi noodles banned in India over concerns of excess lead levels

Nestle hit back at the claims and said that the lead levels were fit for human consumption, but still pulled the product from the shelves

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The Independent Online

Nestle has removed its popular Maggi instant noodles from the shelves in India after a handful of states banned the product due to fears of excess lead levels. 

The food company said in a statement that the noodles were completely safe, but explained that “recent developments and unfounded concerns about the product have led to an environment of confusion for the consumer.”

It said that, due to the confusion, it had voluntarily "decided to withdraw the product off the shelves, despite the product being safe".

Indian states had carried out tests on the noodles, which had shown the product had higher than allowed levels of lead, the BBC reported.

Nestle then tested packets of Maggi itself and found that “lead levels are well within the limits specified by food regulations and that Maggi noodles are safe to eat,” it said in the statement.

“The trust of our consumers and the safety of our products is our first priority,” it added.

At least six states have removed the Nestle product from shops, the state of Tamil Nadu being the first to do so on Thursday, according to the Guardian.

Maggi noodles are very popular in India, with most food shops stocking them – even in the most rural parts of the country.

They are even known as the “third staple” for Indians, behind rice and lentils and have been on sale since 1983.