No animal cruelty: PETA members promote veganism in New Delhi.
Animal rights organisation asks for food packaging and labelling regulations to be suitably amended
Mumbai: In a bid to make choosing packaged food easier for vegans, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has requested the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to amend regulations to introduce the brown dot for milk and milk products. At present, vegetarian products are marked with a green dot, while non-vegetarian ones display a brown dot on their packaging.
Dr. Manilal Valliyate, CEO, PETA has written to FSSAI chief P.K. Agarwal, outlining reasons for the request. His letter said the production of dairy foods commonly involves violence, such as eventual slaughter, separating calves from their mothers, and other forms of cruelty. It said India’s beef industry exists because of the dairy industry. “Ethical vegetarians who want to refrain from supporting the beef industry and cruelty to animals are being duped, because they commonly believe that a ‘green dot’ designates products not involving animal suffering or the slaughter of cattle.”
Urging for the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations 2011 to be amended to introduce the brown dot in packaging, PETA said cattle aren’t raised solely for beef, so the dairy industry is the primary supplier of cattle to the beef industry, especially for export.
Dr. Valliyate also said since all dairy products are derived from animals, the amount of cholesterol in them is high and could lead to heart diseases. “It’s important to differentiate animal and plant-based products,” he said, adding 75% of the global population, including three out of four Indians, can’t digest dairy products properly.
It is mandatory for food manufacturers to indicate if the food item contains non-vegetarian ingredients. Some products, like carbonated water and milk, are exempt from this provision, so these markings are not required on these products.