FSSAI to delist non-dairy ‘milk’ items

September 4, 2021

VADODARA: Soon, products like ‘soya milk’, ‘almond milk’, ‘pistachio milk’, ‘walnut milk’ and all its ilk in the current format will have to lose place in virtual shelves of e-commerce majors like Amazon, Big Basket, Grofers, Flipkart, Jio Mart among others. Reason? The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) — has asked all the e-commerce food business operators (FBOs) to delist all such products from their platforms that use dairy terminology for selling non-dairy or plant-based products by September 15.

The significant move by the country’s food regulator comes in the wake of demands made by the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI), the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) that markets brand Amul and other dairy co-operatives from across the country since last year to take action against those masquerading plant-based beverages/ products as milk and milk products.

“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 terms, including the specific instances of alleged violations as mentioned in the complaint and delist such products from your online platforms immediately,” FSSAI’s communique to e-commerce operators, e-commerce websites selling plant-based beverages, states.

The e-commerce operators have also been asked to ensure that no such defaulting products are listed on their online platforms for sale in future as well. Further, they have been asked to share the action taken reports by the deadline, that is September 15.
The order states that the ‘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 terms in the nomenclature of dairy products like milk, milk product or a composite milk product and 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 (eg plant based products/ beverages) is prohibited and any such action is in contravention of the said regulations,” the letter states.
Exceptions have been allowed in nomenclature of products like coconut milk, peanut butter based on internationally accepted principle that dairy terms were being traditionally used in their nomenclature and such products are not substitutes for milk or its products. Similarly, curd is also not considered an exclusive dairy term in FSSAI regulations and relevant Codex standards.

  • Access to full website Database is only for our premium members.