The Food Safety and Regulatory Authority of India (FSSAI) on Thursday amended its order and allowed the use of regional names in printed labels of yogurt packets amid a political row in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Food Business Operators (FBOs) are now permitted to use the word ‘yogurt’ along with any other prevalent regional common name in brackets on the label, FSSAI said in the statement. For example, ‘Dahi’ in Hindi or ‘Dahi (Mosaru) in Kannada, ‘Dahi (Thayir) in Tamil, Dahi (Perugu) in Telugu, (Zamutadaud)’ can be used.
Following various representations received recently on deletion of the word ‘curd’ from the standards of fermented milk products, the order has been modified and only the word ‘curd’ has been mentioned. FSSAI said, ‘Recently several representations were received on removal of the word ‘curd’ from the standards for fermented milk products. It has been decided that FBOs may use the word curd in brackets on the label along with any other designation (prevailing regional generic name).’
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In its March 10 directive issued to milk cooperatives and private dairies located in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, FSSAI had asked them to use the word ‘yogurt’ with the prevalent regional names in brackets. They were asked to use the regional nomenclature used in different states for ‘yogurt’ while labeling the product, such as Dahi (Dahi), Dahi (Mosru), Dahi (Zamutdoud), Dahi (Thair), Dahi (Dahi) Perugu).
The direction was issued to Karnataka Cooperative Milk Producers Federation (KMF), Bengaluru Rural and Ramanagara District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited, Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation and Hatsun Agro Products Limited.
The controversy began when the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation – which sells dairy products under the brand name Aavin – refused to use the Hindi word ‘dahi’ in its printed pouches as directed by FSSAI, saying it could only use the Tamil word ‘thair’. Will be limited to ‘.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday slammed the move as an attempt to ‘impose Hindi’. Dairy Development Minister SM Naser said the government had received a letter to implement the directive before August.
In a tweet, Stalin said, “The insistence on imposing Hindi has gone to the extent of directing us to label even a curd packet in Hindi, deleting the words Tamil and Kannada in our own states.” This kind of treatment for our mother tongues will ensure that those responsible are banished from the South forever.
BJP’s state unit chief K Annamalai has said that the notification was not in line with the Centre’s policy of promoting regional languages. Meanwhile, former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy objected to the inclusion of the word ‘yogurt’ on the packets of Nandini, a popular brand of KMF yogurt.
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In a series of tweets, the JD(S) leader called it the ‘imposition of Hindi’ on Kannada speakers. “Knowing that Kannada people are against the imposition of Hindi, it is wrong for the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to order KMF to print curd in Hindi on the packet of Nandini Probiotic Yogurt,” he said.
He said that Nandini is the “wealth of the Kannada people, the identity of the Kannada people and the lifeline of the Kannada people”. He alleged that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said in a meeting during his visit to Mandya that Nandini would be merged with Gujarat’s Amul. There was no response from Karnataka Milk Federation on this issue.