The Delhi High Court has directed FSSAI to ask food business operators (FBOs) to provide full details with respect to the ingredient and its source (veg or non-veg) on food products’ label. The High Court has also asked the Food Authority to issue a fresh notice regarding declaration of the info and about the ‘obligation’ on the food businesses for the same.

According to published reports, the Delhi High Court had ordered that the Food Authority should issue a fresh notice and make it widely publicised stating that the obligation placed on FBOs to disclose the vegetarian or non-vegetarian nature of the food.

The court has observed that the ‘non-discloser’ of the food item being veg or non-veg, affects the ‘fundamental rights’.

Earlier, on court’s direction FSSAI had issued a direction asking food businesses to declare on the label ‘correctly’ whether the food product is ‘Veg’ or ‘Non-Veg’, irrespective of the percentage of any ingredient in the food.

This came after the Delhi High Court pulled up the food regulator on a petition saying that food businesses hide info about ingredients source (plant or animal).

The court had observed that it should be fairly disclosed as to what is the plant source or animal source.

Meanwhile, the FSSAI has stated that the term “ingredient” was defined under Section 3(y) of FSS Act 2006 which inter-alia includes food additives and issued a notice.

“It is clarified that the declaration regarding non-veg or veg food is mandatory irrespective of the percentage of any ingredient in the food,” read the direction by the FSSAI while adding, “In view of the above regulatory provisions read with FSS (Labelling and Display) Regulations 2020, every package of “non-vegetarian” food having ingredients including additives, from animal sources but excluding milk or milk products, honey or beeswax or carnauba wax or shellac, shall bear a symbol and colour code to indicate that the product is non-vegetarian food.”

The court, however, was not satisfied with the notice.