India’s food safety regulator on Friday banned Nestle from making and selling its hugely popular Maggi instant noodles, calling them “unsafe” and “hazardous” after tests found they contained excessive lead.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said it was ordering Nestle to halt manufacturing after tests by some states found lead levels above statutory limits.

Nestle, which denies the charges and says the noodles are safe to eat, had already announced it was pulling the product from sale as it seeks to contain growing safety concerns.

An FSSAI statement said it was ordering Nestle India to “withdraw and recall all the nine approved variants of its Maggi Instant Noodles from the market … and stop further production”.

It said tests had found the noodles to be “unsafe and hazardous for human consumption”.

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