Nestlé took its immensely popular instant-noodle brand Maggi off shelves across India on Thursday, amid a controversy over apparent high levels of lead found in the product.
The company said in a statement that although Maggi is completely safe, “recent developments and unfounded concerns about the product have led to an environment of confusion for the consumer,” the BBC reported.
Maggi was also undergoing tests for high levels of monosodium glutamate or MSG, a common but harmful chemical ingredient used as a flavor enhancer in packaged and fast foods worldwide.
The government in New Delhi had earlier issued a 15-day ban on the popular snack — a move several other states subsequently followed, according to the Wall Street Journal. Beyond the South Asian nation’s borders, Singapore also ordered that sales of Maggi imported from India be suspended, the Straits Times reported.
Maggi, known for its tagline that says it can be cooked in “two minutes,” reportedly enjoys an 80% share of India’s instant-noodle market and is almost as ubiquitous as the rice and lentils that comprise much of the South Asian nation’s staple diet.
“We have decided to withdraw the product off the shelves, despite the product being safe,” Nestlé added, before promising that everyone’s favorite easy-to-cook meal would be back soon.
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