High Court Delhi HC seeks response of FSSAI, Food Safety Commissioner...

Delhi HC seeks response of FSSAI, Food Safety Commissioner for misbranding plant-based beverages as dairy products

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New Delhi, May 26 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court today sought the response of the Food Safety And Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Commissioner of Food Safety for Delhi on a petition challenging the misbranding of plant-based beverages as prejudicial to dairy farmers.

The A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli issued notice on the petition preferred by the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India, filed through Advocates Abhishek Singh and J Amal Anand.

The plea stated that the statutory scheme of the Food Safety Act, 2006 and its allied regulations prevent the use of word ‘milk’ and other dairy terms like ‘paneer,’ ‘curd’ (dahi) and ‘yoghurt’ for any plant-based food/extracts as these do not qualify as milk, milk product or composite milk product.

The petitioner further stated that the right to livelihood and right to freedom of trade of millions of farmers involved in dairy farming and animal husbandry is being adversely affected by plant-based beverages manufacturing companies, passing off plant-based beverages extracted from almond, soya and oats as ‘milk’.

Senior Advocate Ciccu Mukhopadhaya appeared for the petitioner. He contended that the authorities have failed to perform their statutory duties in the face of rampant rise in the production and sale of plant-based foods/beverages as milk.

Justice Palli also issued notice to Hershey India, which sells under brand name Sofit; Rakyan Beverages, which sells under the brand name Raw Pressery; Drums Food International, which sells under the brand name Epigamia, and Urban Platter.

The petitioner prayed that necessary steps and action should be taken against Hershey and other named entities for misbranding plant-based beverages as milk. The Court posted the matter on September 14 for further hearing. ILNS/SHV/RJ

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