Need for Introducing a Separate Symbol for Dairy Products

Information about the Issue

In India, the food labeling policy is regulated by the Food Safety And Standards (Packaging And Labelling) Regulations, 2011. The Regulations provide that there should be a distinct declaration on the pre-packaged foods about their vegetarian (through green dot) or non-vegetarian (through brown dots) content in the form of visible marks. The regulations classify any food article that is not ‘non-vegetarian’ as ‘vegetarian’. In doing so, they exclude animal-derived milk or milk products (commonly referred to as dairy products) from the scope of the non-vegetarian food category. Therefore, presently, for any consumer purchasing food products in India, it is nearly impossible to distinguish dairy products from vegetarian products. The problem with the policy of categorizing dairy products as vegetarian lies in the fact that dairy products are not plant-derivatives but derivatives of milk which is a product obtained through milch animals such as cows and buffaloes. (more…)