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NCDFI files petition against FSSAI agency approving plant derivatives marketed as false-branded milk

The National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI), the former dairy cooperative organization, has most of the dairy cooperatives, including AMUL, as members and represents approximately 17.2 million dairy farmers, the Delhi High Court proclaimed in writing Petition against the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and companies like Hersheys, Rakyan Beverages Pvt. Ltd., Istore Direct Trading Pvt. Ltd. (Urban Platter) and Drums Food International Pvt. Ltd. (Epigamia) who sell herbal drinks such as soy drinks and almond drinks and illegally label them as „milk”.

Amul has issued a statement stating that the petition is directed against the illegal use of the term „milk” and dairy products in plant-based foods / beverages, which violates the legal requirements of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and allied regulations.

The petition was submitted to the Delhi Supreme Court on May 24, 2021, with the Delhi Supreme Court finding the subject of interest to be an interesting issue, issuing a notice and a response from the center, the Delhi government, the FSSAI and plant-based food companies applied in the same way.

The Advertising Standards Council of India had also previously dismissed lawsuits filed against the dairy giant Amul, namely advertising – „Plant-based dairy analogs such as soy drinks are not milk”.

RS Sodhi, MD, GCMMF, said plant-based food companies took the equity of milk.

He said, “The herbal drinks (supposedly milk) are nothing more than genetically modified laboratory foods made from chemicals and synthetic materials. The sole goal of these product manufacturers was to make a profit, not a livelihood. The Indian dairy industry has been a model of human-animal coexistence for centuries, and foreign-funded NGOs are campaigning to damage the Indian dairy industry, which, unlike the western world, is not factory farming. Cattle belong to the farmer’s family and nobody tortures them. „

Dr. GS Rajorhia, President of the Indian Dairy Association, also announced that milk is a product made from mammalian secretions and is defined in the FSSAI statutes. He said that 70% of milk is sourced from rural India, where farmers and cattle live together as families. Another 10 crore families are directly dependent on the Indian dairy sector. The plant-based milk is false and misleading propaganda.

Meanwhile, under pressure, it emerges that the country’s former food regulatory agency has agreed with the dairy industry’s statement that plant derivatives marketed as milk should be viewed as „bogus products.”

Parag Milk Foods Ltd, a dairy FMCG company, had raised its concerns to the FSSAI to review the contents of plant extracts like soy and almonds etc. and recommended that it be classified as a plant drink rather than milk.

Devendra Shah, Chairman of Parag Milk Foods Ltd, said: “Basically for this recommendation, the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) stated in its recent regulation on the revised standards for milk and dairy products that products are ingredients that are not derived from milk are mistakenly considered to be „milk”. Therefore, the term „dairy products” (Milk & Dairy Products) may not be used in any advertisement, label or commercial document for such products. „