The Maggi saga that has gripped our country is beginning to get as complicated as some of the world’s most famous epics. After the Food Safety and Drug Administration found (FSDA) found excessive amounts of lead and MSG in Maggi samples collected across Uttar Pradesh, they requested a ban on the products. That was followed by a flurry of Maggi testing across the country, accusations flung at celebrities who has endorsed the product and a hullabaloo on social media from those that feared the end of an era of Maggi. As with any good epic, it’s always helpful to have a chronology of events to understand what’s actually going on. As always, we’re happy to oblige.
18th May : After testing samples in Uttar Pradesh, the FSDA finds that Maggi contains 17 ppm of lead, while the permissible limit is 0.01 ppm. It also finds that it contains high levels of MSG. Nestle denies these findings.
19 – 20th May: Social media erupts, with some Twitter users adopting a ‘I told you so stance’, while others mourn the possible loss of their favourite snack. Some start looking at alternatives for Maggi while others begin rushing out to hoard as many packets as possible.
PANIC MODE ACTIVATED. TRYING TO HOARD ALL REMAINING MAGGI PACKETS WHILE I CAN. https://t.co/30f81YV2nU
— alkalien (@alkalien) May 20, 2015
21st May : Nestle swings into damage control mode and tries to combat rumours by stating that there have been no orders to recall Maggi packets in the market. They state that they maintain strict health regulations and say that they have sent Maggi samples to an independent lab for testing.
25th May: The Karnataka government plans to test Maggi samples
30th May: Uttarakhand’s Food Safety Department collects samples of Maggi and sends them to government labs to be tested.
30th May – 1st June: Celebrities like Madhuri Dixit, Preity Zinta and Amitabh Bachchan are summoned to courts and cases are filed against them for endorsing Maggi.
— HuffPost India (@HuffPostIndia) June 1, 2015
2nd June: The Kerala government issues an order to temporarily stop the distribution of Maggi,
3rd June: New Delhi announces a ban on Maggi for 15 days, and orders a recall of products from shops and supermarkets. The Indian army also asks its canteens to stop serving and stocking Maggi.
3rd June: Shares in Nestle are trading at 10% lower than they did before the controversy.
— Vishweshwar Bhat (@VishweshwarBhat) June 2, 2015
4th June: Uttarakhand announces that it is banning Maggi. Gujarat and Jharkhand may soon follow suit.
We suspect that this list of events is nowhere close to finished. As Maggi continues to be tested in government laboratories all over the country and Nestle struggles to keep its head above water we’ll all be watching. And waiting.