Not just lead: Maggi instant noodles pulled up for high salt content three years ago

New Delhi: Research and advocacy body Centre for Science and Environment today said consumers are unaware of ingredients and nutrition information of a product due to lack of appropriate "nutrition fact labelling" in the country, against the backdrop of row over Maggi noodles.

Referring to its research in 2012, CSE also said that it had found that Maggi instant noodles came with a high salt content and that a packet of noodle had around 3 gram of salt while the recommended salt intake per person per day is 6 gram.

The lab study had also found that addition of vitamins, as claimed by Maggi, did not make it a healthy food as it had negligible fibres -- 70 per cent of it was just carbohydrates.

CSE said that as a consumer's right, what is there in a food product should be clearly mentioned on the pack with quantity of each ingredient reflecting the recommended daily allowance (RDA).

 Not just lead: Maggi instant noodles pulled up for high salt content three years ago

Maggi. IBNLive

The research and advocacy body also said that there is no government backed regulation to control celebrity-endorsed advertisements in the country and advocated "mandatory" control over such advertisements.

Welcoming the initiative of food authorities to test food samples for heavy metals, CSE said that consumers are unaware of ingredients and nutrition information of a product due to lack of appropriate "nutrition fact labelling" in the country.

"This means that if you eat a packet of these noodles, you will have to watch your salt intake very carefully through the rest of the day. Consumption of such ultra processed foods high in salt is associated with the increased risk of obesity and diabetes," said Amit Khurana, programme manager of CSE's food safety team.

"It is an issue of public health and public good, hence, there is no room for any compromise on this issue. It is great that for the first time, processed food is being tested for contaminants like heavy metals by our food safety authorities.

"More tests should be done," said Chandra Bhushan, CSE's deputy director general.

After Uttar Pradesh, the probe into alleged lapses of food safety standards was expanded and Maggi noodle samples are being tested across the country.

However, Nestle India claimed it has got samples tested in an external laboratory as well as in-house and that the product was found "safe to eat".

CSE said that "unregulated advertising of junk food" targeted at children plays "crucial" role in building up their food preferences and they fall victim to such advertisements as they are not mature enough to make the right food choice.

PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 04, 2015 10:49:13 IST