New Delhi: Announcing the withdrawal of Maggi noodles across India after charges of more-than-permissible levels of some substances, Nestle's global chief executive Paul Bulcke on Friday asserted the popular snack was safe, passing every independent test ordered by the company.
"The product, Maggi noodles, are safe for consumption," Bulcke told press conference here. "Our priority now is to engage all stakeholders to clarify the confusion. We felt that consumer trust was shaken, that's why we took the product off the shelves."
Conceding that the trust the brand has enjoyed in India for over 30 years had been "temporarily shaken", the top official said there was no difference in quality standards which Nestle adopts across the globe -- and that tests on the very same norms had proved the product's safety.
"The tests we have done found no lead. So we are trying to engage with the authorities regarding the test methods they have used," he said, adding: "Our safety measures and standards are same all over the world."
The press conference was called following some state governments banning Maggi for 15-30 days and many calling for tests on the popular noodles. This was after a batch in a small town in Uttar Pradesh was allegedly found to contain higher-than-permissible levels of lead.
There were also charges of high levels of monosodium glutamate.
The Nestle chief executive also maintained that the authorites in India had not shared with the company the methodology that they had adopted to test the batches of noodles. He had on Thursday given a representation to the watchdog, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
"Maggi noodles are completely safe and have been trusted in India for over 30 years. The trust of our consumers and the safety of our products is our first priority," he said.