India’s largest dairy brand Amul has countered animal rights organisation PETA’s suggestion to ‘switch to plant-based dairy’, questioning how employment to crores of people could be provided if that were to be the case, and said “foreign funded NGOs are running campaigns to tarnish the Indian dairy industry”.
The development comes days after self regulating ad industry entity Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) dismissed a plea filed by PETA against Amul for stating that plant-based products can’t be called ‘milk’.
RS Sodhi, managing director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) which makes Amul milk, butter, ice-cream and cheese, said: “Who will provide employment to 100 million farmers who depend on the cooperative dairy sector, if the company stops using milk?” Sodhi said plant-based foods companies are encashing on the equity of milk.
“These products are nothing but genetically modified lab foods that are made out of chemicals and synthetic materials by big corporates with the only objective of profit making and not livelihood,” he said. He further added: “Foreign funded NGOs are running campaigns to tarnish the Indian dairy industry. Cattle are part of a dairy farmer’s family and nobody tortures them.”
Earlier this week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India had said in a letter that Amul can start making ‘plant-milk’ for its products. Amul is running a ‘myths versus facts’ campaign, stating that “plant-based beverages are impersonating and masquerading as dairy products”. GCMMF said that its campaign had been issued in public interest to counter misleading claims against the dairy industry.
Food regulating entity FSSAI’s draft regulation for dairy products already states that non-dairy products like soya and almond milk cannot use the ‘milk’ in their nomenclature.
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