‘Dahi’ Row: FSSAI Allows Labelling Curd In Regional Names Following Heavy Backlash
In its directive dated March 10 issued to milk cooperatives and private dairy located in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the FSSAI had asked them to use the term 'Dahi' with prevalent regional names in brackets.
New Delhi: Food safety regulator FSSAI on Thursday revised its order and allowed the use of regional names in printed labels of curd packets amid political controversy in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The Food Business Operators (FBOs) are now allowed to use the term 'curd' along with any other prevalent regional common name in brackets on the label. For example, 'Curd (Dahi)' in Hindi or 'Curd (mosaru) in Kannada, 'Curd (thayir)' in Tamil, 'Curd (perugu)' in Telugu, 'Curd (zaamutdaud)' can be used, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said in a statement.
The order has been revised following various representations received recently on the omission of the term 'curd' from the Standards of Fermented Milk Products and only the word 'Dahi' was mentioned. "As many representations were received recently on the omission of the term 'curd' from the Standards of Fermented Milk Products, it has been decided that FBOs may use the term curd along with any other designation (prevalent regional common name) in brackets on the label," the FSSAI said.
In its directive dated March 10 issued to milk cooperatives and private dairy located in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the FSSAI had asked them to use the term 'Dahi' with prevalent regional names in brackets. They were told to use regional nomenclature used in different states for 'dahi' while labelling the product, like Dahi (curd), Dahi (mosaru), Dahi (zaamutdaud), Dahi (thayir), Dahi (perugu).
The directive was issued to Karnataka Cooperative Milk Producers Federation (KMF), Bengaluru Rural and Ramanagara District Cooperative Milk Producers Societies Union Ltd, Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation and Hatsun Agro Products Ltd. The controversy erupted after the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation -- which sells dairy products in brand name Aavin -- declined to use the Hindi term 'Dahi' in its printed sachets as directed by FSSAI and said that it would only stick to the Tamil word 'thayir'.
On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin decried the move as an attempt to "impose Hindi". Dairy Development Minister SM Nasar said the government had received a letter asking it to implement the directive before August. "The unabashed insistences of #HindiImposition have come to the extent of directing us to label even a curd packet in Hindi, relegating Tamil & Kannada in our own states. Such brazen disregard to our mother tongues will make sure those responsible are banished from South forever," Stalin said in a tweet.
BJP state unit chief K Annamalai has said the notification was not in tandem with the Centre's policy of promoting regional languages. Meanwhile, former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy took exception to the inclusion of the term 'dahi' on the curd packets of Nandini, a popular brand of KMF. In a series of tweets, the JD(S) second-in-command called it 'Hindi imposition' on Kannadigas.
"Knowing that Kannadigas are opposed to Hindi imposition, it is wrong for the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to order KMF to print Hindi Dahi on the packet of Nandini probiotic curd," he said. He said Nandini is the "property of the Kannadigas, the identity of the Kannadigas and the lifeline of the Kannadigas". "Despite knowing this, the ego of Hindi imposition has been displayed," he added. He alleged that Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his Mandya visit had said in a meeting that Nandini would be merged with Gujarat's Amul. There was no response from the Karnataka Milk Federation on the issue.