India’s food safety authority is once again showing they’re cracking down on food and drink imports with Jacob’s Creek wines seemingly the latest target.
Food Standards and Authority India (FSSAI) stopped imports from Australia’s largest wine company late last year after reports from food safety regulators alleged the wine contained tartaric acid.
Pernod Ricard India, the company responsible for importing Jacob’s Creek wine, is currently fighting against the import ban in the Bombay High Court. Jacob’s Creek is the largest selling imported wine company in India and annually ships their product to over 100 countries worldwide.
Legal counsel for the Indian branch of Pernod has argued that not only has the wine been successfully imported to India for more than a decade but also that tartaric acid is not actually a prohibited additive according to the regulations.
However counsel for FSSAI alleges that routine tests carried out on the wine found tartaric acid, which is not allowed in proprietary food.
FSSAI tighten their food safety belt
This latest import ban has come alongside the FSSAI’s Maggi instant noodle ban and the recent Starbucks flavoured syrup ban.
The FSSAI made headlines around the world after it called a halt to all Maggi Instant Noodle packets imports due to allegedly finding restricted and potentially harmful levels of lead and MSG.
The company, like Pernod Ricard India, fought the ban in India’s courts and have since reported that test results from two independent labs, one in Canada and one in the UK, have both cleared the noodles.
Regardless of whether or not the import bans on the companies are eventually lifted many would argue the damage is done. The brand damage done to Maggi following the import ban is reportedly cost the company more than AUD $250 million. We will have to wait and see how this latest import ban affects Australia’s biggest wine brand.