The canteen stores department (CSD), the retailing platform for India’s defence forces, has suspended the sale of Patanjali Ayurved’s amla juice after receiving an adverse state-laboratory test report on the product that had helped establish the company’s credentials in the consumer business.
The CSD, in a letter dated April 3, 2017, asked all depots to make debit notes for their existing stock so that the product can be returned. Amla juice was one of Patanjali Ayurved’s first consumer launches, and its success helped the company enter more than two-dozen categories, underpinned by advertising support that claimed the company offered healthier alternatives to products sold by multinationals.
“The batch was tested at the Central Food Lab in Kolkata and was declared unfit for consumption. Patanjali has withdrawn amla juice from all army canteens,” said two officials privy to the development.
This is not the first instance of the `5,000-crore Patanjali Ayurved running into trouble with the regulators over its claims. In the past, it has been pulled up for selling noodles and pasta without the relevant licences. Last year, FSSAI directed its Central Licensing Authority to issue a showcause notice to Patanjali over its edible-oil advertisements that were allegedly misleading.