Food safety regulator FSSAI on Saturday directed e-commerce companies to delist immediately the non-dairy and plant-based beverages that have label claiming as ‘dairy’ products. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), in a statement, said it has also directed states to investigate use of dairy terms on the labels of plant-based beverages and food products.
“Since a lot of such products are sold through e-commerce Food Business Operators (FBOs), FSSAI has instructed all e-commerce platforms to delist such products, which are reported to be in contravention to the regulatory provisions related to the application of dairy ‘terms’ from their online platforms, immediately,” it said.
The FSSAI has further directed that no such defaulting products listed on the online platforms are allowed for sale in the future as well.
A directive has been issued to state food safety departments asking them to identify and investigate for violation of use of dairy terminology for non-dairy or plant-based products by FBOs, it added.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said 15 days may be given to FPOs to modify their product labels in case of any violation.
These steps will ensure an appropriate enforcement action against such defaulting FBOs as per the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2005, it added.
As per the general standards for milk and milk products under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, the FSSAI said use of any dairy terms for a product which is not milk/a 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, exceptions are permissible for usage of dairy terminology in the nomenclature of certain products like coconut milk, peanut butter etc in reference to 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, it added.