Maggi Noodles, Lead Contamination, and Celebrity Responsibility

Contamination of Maggi instant noodle with lead has become a major issue between manufacturing company and governments at state and central level.  Maggi noodles have been withdrawn from shops that are run by government, many states have even banned the sale of product and army has advised its canteen not to cook the product. 

Can the presence of lead in Maggi instant noodles be blamed on celebrities that endorsed the product? The opinion is divided. A court in Bihar has ordered FIR be filed against celebrities that endorsed the produce. On the other hand, there are many who believe it is ridiculous to sue the celebrities.

Maggi noodle was launched in India in 1982. Initially, it made noodles of refined wheat flour. Gradually, it diversified into atta noodles and oats noodle. Today, Maggi noodles occupy 70% of market share in a 4000 crore rupees Indian instant noodle market, that is growing at the rate of 30% year. Anybody and everybody knew that Maggi noodles were as close to junk food as it could get. They are full of salt, carbohydrates and transfat with little fibre and  protein. People liked it for taste and convenience of creating a meal in 2 min. Question emerges, if Maggi noodles is such a bad product, 

  • Why was such a product allowed to come and last in Indian market for more than 30 years? 
  • Why did no one protested about empty calory content of Maggi noodles?
Maggi has reached the peak of market share among other things by aggressive marketing  strategy using celebrities in sleek advertisement campaigns. True celebrities have made claim that Maggi is good for health atta Maggi, that Maggi has fibre as in oat Maggi noodle etc. People have reported that neither atta Maggi nor oats Maggi noodles contain exactly what they claim. Celebrities  could have, most certainly, been challenged for misrepresentation of facts and fooling people.

In all fairness, however, celebrities cannot have any knowledge of Maggi containing lead. Celebrities are not equipped to test products for contents. That too for contents that probably are not covered in the label. They would go by what company says and based on what food regulator accepts and grants licence to market the product. We may be angry, but our anger cannot be misdirected. The total fault of lead content of Maggi lies with authorities that did not collect and analysed samples at random at regular intervals.

Tags: Advertisement Campaign, Atta Noodle, Carbohydrate, Contamination, Court, Fat, Fibre, Junk Food, Maggi Noodle, Marketing, Nutritional Value, Oats Noodle, Salt, Sue
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