For Immediate Release:
9 November 2017
Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India Must Mark Milk Accurately for Consumers, Says Group
New Delhi – November is World Vegan Month, and in the midst of it, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sent a letter urging the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to amend Regulation 220.127.116.11 of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, by removing the exemption for dairy “products” from the definition of “non-vegetarian food”. The group also urges FSSAI to make the brown dot symbol mandatory for milk, milk “products”, and products containing milk solids. This would distinguish them from true vegetarian options, which are marked with a green dot symbol and contain no animal ingredients – or suffering.
In the letter, which can be viewed here, PETA points out that not only is dairy milk not derived from plants, its production also commonly involves violence such as repeated artificial insemination –in other words, rape –the kidnapping of calves from their mothers, and eventual slaughter, since the dairy industry is the primary supplier of cattle to the beef industry. Male calves, considered “waste” by the industry, are typically abandoned and left to starve or sent to be killed. Their mothers also often end up as beef.
In the letter, Dr Manilal Valliyate, Chief Executive Officer of PETA, writes, “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 which have not involved animal suffering or the slaughter of cattle.”
The letter also points out the importance of differentiating plant-based foods from those derived from animals, because about 75 per cent of people, including three out of four Indians, cannot properly digest milk, as they lose their enzymes for doing so after weaning.
“Cows and buffaloes in the dairy industry are used and abused as milk-making machines until their bodies give out, at which point they’re often hacked apart for beef in legal or illegal slaughterhouses or upon being smuggled into Bangladesh. Meanwhile, male calves usually are abandoned and left to starve or are killed not long after birth, since they can’t produce milk,” says Dr Valliyate. “It’s misleading to pass off this cruelty as vegetarian, and PETA is calling on the FSSAI to start calling dairy milk what it is: non-vegetarian.”
PETA– whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – notes that because animals produce milk for their own species, doctors now warn that the consumption of dairy “products” is linked to cardiovascular disease, childhood-onset diabetes, higher rates of certain types of cancer, and other ailments in humans. PETA’s eyewitness investigation of India’s dairy industry also documented that animals are routinely kicked and struck, denied veterinary care, and forced to stand in piles of their own waste. Video footage of dairy-industry cruelty can be viewed and downloaded from here.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.