National foods regulator FSSAI has directed e-commerce platforms to delist plant-based products as dairy milk products, following the Dairy Federation objecting to products such as soya, coconut and walnut-based beverages being labelled as 'milk'.
Dozens of brands in India such as Sofit and NatureVit sell packaged soya, almond or coconut milk on e-commerce grocery platforms as dairy products. This is despite a government regulation that non-milk products cannot be classified and sold as 'dairy' products.
"The general standard for milk and milk products under the Food Safety and Standards Regulations clearly lays down guidelines for use of dairy in the nomenclature of products. These regulations state that use of any dairy term for a product which is not milk or a composite milk product is prohibited and any such action is in contravention of the regulations," FSSAI has noted.
The dairy industry has also called for incorporation of a logo for dairy products to help customers to identify and differentiate dairy products from non-dairy ones.
The existing regulation addresses and defines 'dairy' as products that refer to or are suggestive, directly or indirectly, of milk or milk products.