The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, along with other organizations and businesses, on Thursday urged the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to withdraw a proposed amendment prohibiting vegan-focused companies from using the word “milk” to describe dairy-free kinds of milk made from oats, soy, almonds, coconut, and other plant foods.
According to PETA, Amul has admitted that it urged the FSSAI to allow the word “milk” to be used only in relation to animal secretions. “The FSSAI’s proposed amendment aims to deny India’s vegan-focused businesses fair opportunity to make the nation a world leader in eco-and animal-friendly food and beverages,” warns PETA India Vegan Outreach Coordinator Dr. Kiran Ahuja.
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She added, “PETA India is calling on the FSSAI to withdraw this proposed amendment which appears intended to harm businesses making delicious, healthy products from nature’s bounty: Indian plants.”
Along with PETA India, Humane Society International India, and People for Animals, other animal protection organizations and businesses have submitted their comments to the FSSAI urging it to withdraw the proposed amendment.
The Vegan Outreach Coordinator further said that the increased national and global consumer interest in plant-based products offers tremendous business opportunities for farmers in India, as crops used for vegan milk – such as soy, nuts, coconuts, and oats – are abundant in India.
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An ever-increasing number of consumers in India are seeking out vegan kinds of milk for many reasons, including animal welfare, the environment, and health concerns. Three out of four Indians are lactose intolerant — unable to digest milk properly beyond the age of weaning — because cow and buffalo milk is formulated for baby bovines, not humans.
The consumption of dairy has been linked to cardiovascular disease, childhood-onset diabetes, higher rates of certain types of cancer, and other ailments in humans, PETA said, adding that a United Nations report has urged a global move towards vegan eating in order to save the world from the worst effects of climate change. (IANS)