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E-commerce sites to delist plant-based products with dairy terms-FSSAI

FSSAI is in receipt of a complaint dated 01.03.2021 from National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI) vide which specific instances of alleged violations of the use of dairy terminology for non-dairy or plant based products as mentioned in the complaint, have been brought to the notice of this office.

In this regard, it may be noted that General Standard for Milk and Milk Products’ under the ‘Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011’ clearly lay down guidelines for use of dairy ten(s) in the nomenclature of dairy products (milk, milk product or a composite milk product) as well as for non-dairy products (other foods). As per these Regulations, use of any dairy term for a product which is not milk,milk product or a composite milk product (e.g. plant based products / beverages) is prohibited and any such action is in contravention of the said Regulations. However, it is further apprised that as exceptions to the above mentioned provisions, the regulations also provide for use of dairy terms in the nomenclature of certain products (coconut milk, peanut butter etc.) based on the internationally accepted principle that dairy terms were being traditionally used in their nomenclature and such products are not substitutes for milk or milk products.

Further, the term ‘curd’ is also not considered the dairy term exclusively, and has been associated with nondairy products such as ‘soybean curd’ in our regulations which also is in consistency with the relevant Codex standards.

In view of above, it is directed to investigate the labeling declarations of such products which are reported to be in contravention to the regulatory provisions related to the application of dairy terms, including the specific instances of alleged violations as mentioned in the ibid complaint dated 01.03.2021 and delist such products from your online platforms immediately. Further, it should also be ensured that no such defaulting products whose label is in contravention to the ibid provisions regulating the application of the dairy terms are listed on online platforms for sale in future also.

The action taken reports showing the relevant details such FBOs which have been delisted for violating the said provisions of FSS (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011 may be shared with this office by 15.09.2021 positively at enforcement1@fssai.gov.in

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