In its final notification for the Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations 2022, the FSSAI strictly prohibits food business operators from labeling as “vegan” any food or ingredient containing additives, flavorings, enzymes and carriers derived from animals.
In a final notification for the Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations 2022, the Center clearly defined veganism, the type of labeling and packaging that would be required for a food to comply with the definition, and the conformity expected from food. Commercial operators (FBO).
What is veganism?
Veganism is a diet and lifestyle choice that involves eating and using only plant-based products and avoiding foods such as meat, dairy and eggs or products like leather, silk and arctic char – all derived from animal exploitation and cruelty.
Here’s how the Center wants vegan foods to be defined, packaged and marketed.
How the FSSAI Defines Vegan Food
The Food Standards Safety Association of India (FSSAI) defines “vegan foods” as foods or ingredients that contain additives, flavorings, enzymes and carriers or processing aids that are not derived from animals. It also states that no additives, flavorings, enzymes and carriers should be used at any stage of the production and processing of the food or food ingredient to be labeled and sold as vegan food.
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The Food Authority prohibits anyone who does not conform to the definition of vegan food from “manufacturing, packaging, selling, offering for sale, marketing, distributing or importing” any food under the “vegan food” label.
No animal testing
The government also requires that food products labeled as vegan food must not have undergone animal testing for any purpose, including safety assessment, “unless provided by a regulatory authority”.
A close eye on the packaging
The FSSAI requires manufacturers to ensure that all packaging materials used for vegan foods comply with the provisions of the packaging regulations. It also asks FBO to ensure that good manufacturing practices are followed at all stages of the production, processing and distribution of vegan foods and ingredients, to avoid even the unintended presence of non-vegetarian substances in vegan products.
Traceability at manufacturer level
The FSSAI said it will ensure traceability of a product back to the manufacturer level while requiring FBOs to comply with requirements mandated by the food regulatory authority to maintain “vegan integrity” of foods, food ingredients and products from time to time.
The vegan logo
Last year, the FSSAI introduced a dedicated vegan product logo to help consumers easily identify vegan foods when shopping.
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The draft FSSAI rules had said that food products or ingredients that would be labeled as vegan, “will not have involved animal testing to assess the safety of the final product or ingredient and will not contain any GMOs. of animal origin or products prepared using a gene of animal origin for the manufacture of ingredients or products.