Madurai: Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta were slapped with notices by the Tamil Nadu consumer forum on a petition seeking a direction to them not to promote Maggi noodles on "false representations" about quality and safety.
The Madurai bench of the Tamil Nadu State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission also issued notices to CMD of Nestle India, the makers of Maggi, and three others, including state Commissioner of Food Safety besides directing officials to take samples of the product for tests.
Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan. Photo: AFP
Petitioner K Manavalan, a city-based consumer rights activist, wanted the forum to direct the actors not to promote the product through advertisements containing "false representations" about its quality and safety. He also sought a direction to the state officials to send the samples of Maggi noodles for laboratory examination in view of reports that it contained high amount of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and lead content, and stop sales.
"Prima facie case made out in the complaint. Considering the seriousness of the allegations pertaining to the health and public safety of the consumers, we are inclined to grant the relief sought for by the petitioner," commission's Presiding Judicial Member J Jayaram and Member M Murugesan said while passing interim orders on the petition.
The commission directed the designated officer of the Deputy Director of Health Services, Madurai, to take random samples of Maggi noodles with tastemaker from different shops and subject them to tests at the appropriate laboratory. It directed the Safety Commissioner and Deputy Director of Health to file a test report along with opposite parties' opinion regarding the safety of consuming the noodles on or before June 18.
The complainant also sought the forum's directions to Nestle India not to distribute Maggi noodles and withdraw them from sale contending that the sale was in violation of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. He said he was a consumer of Maggi and came to know about Uttar Pradesh government finding high MSG level in the noodles.
He had sent a representation to the Deputy Director of Health Services, seeking testing of samples of Maggi. But no step was taken by the officials, he claimed. He also sought imposition of a fine of Rs 45 lakh on Nestle India and deposit the same in the consumer welfare fund.