In a significant move, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked all the e-commerce platforms to delist all such products which use dairy terminology to sell non-dairy products.
The FSSAI has asked the platforms to implement the order by September 15 and ensure defaulting products are not re-listed.
“It is directed to investigate the labelling declarations of such products which are reported to be in contravention to the regulatory provisions related to the application of dairy items, including the specific instances of alleged violations as mentioned in the complaint and delist such products from your online platforms immediately”, the FSSAI communique reads.
The move comes after the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI), Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) and other co-operatives protested against first selling plant-based products as dairy products.
“The Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) 13th Amendment Regulations, 2017 was implemented from July 1, 2018. It specifically addresses and defines “dairy items” and states that plant-based beverages like soya milk, almond milk, walnut milk among others are in violation to the requirements. These products intend to substitute “milk” by masquerading the dairy term. FSSAI’s directive to e-commerce FBOs regarding the delisting of masquerading products is a welcome step”, The Times of India quoted R S Sodhi, managing director of GCMMF, which markets brand Amul.
He added, “It will protect the interests of 100 million milk producers/farmers of India. Most of the raw materials of plant-based products are imported. Strong enforcement will not only safeguard the interest of the dairy farmers, but it will safeguard gullible customers too.”
PETA India has been campaigning against dairy products and promoting plant-based products.
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