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Dahi-Tayir Row: FSSAI Revises Curd Labelling Directive After 'Hindi Imposition' Backlash

The FSSAI has notified provisions for omission of the term curd from the Standards of Fermented Milk Products. 

General News
| Written By
Abhishek Tiwari
Curd or Dahi

FSSAI revises guidelines for the use of curd label, after MK Stalin objections. (Image: PTI)

Amid objections from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin over use of curd label, FSSAI revises the guidelines for using the term 'curd' along with several nomenclature instead of 'dahi'. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the apex food regulator of India under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has notified provisions for omission of the term curd from the Standards of Fermented Milk Products. 

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had criticised food standard authority FSSAI's decision to label curd packets as 'dahi' and called for the use of local languages in packaging on Wednesday. He took on Twitter to express his thoughts on the labeling, “The unabashed insistences of Hindi Imposition 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 the South forever.” 

He further said, “Listen to us mother tongue defenders who tell us to postpone FSSAI !Respect people's feelings! Stop Hindi imposition. No one wants the insidious idea of pinching and peeing on a child! You'll be lost before you even rock the cradle!.” 

After Stalin condemed the 'Hindi imposition', FSSAI issued a notification over the use of term curd. According to FSSAI -

"General Standard for Milk and Milk Products' under the 'Food Safety and Standards (Food) Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011' clearly lay down guidelines for use of dairy term(s) in the nomenclature of dairy products (milk, milk product or a composite milk product) and related prohibitions for such use in non-dairy products. Accordingly, when term "curd" was written along with "Dahi" in the said regulation, it was restricting its used for non dairy products."

The food regulator authority explained how the labeling can be done further,

"As many representations were received recently on 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."

As per FSSAI, these are the terms can be used to labe curd,

"Curd (Dahi)" OR

"Curd (Mosaru)" OR

"Curd (Zaamut daud)" OR

"Curd (Thayir)" OR

"Curd (Perugu)"

Earlier, the FSSAI has instructed milk federations in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to prominently display the word “dahi” in the curd packets they sold and to add Kannada and Tamil equivalents in brackets. The letter received by the Karnataka Milk Federation is signed by FSSAI’s Joint Director (Science and Standard). The letter said, “Dahi can be labelled as per the following examples. Dahi (Curd), Dahi (Mosaru), Dahi (Zaamut daud), Dahi (Tayir), Dahi (Perugu) or Dahi (Tair) etc., based on the regional nomenclature used in different states for Dahi.”

Responding strongly over the FSSAI’s statement, a Tamil Nadu Minister had said that the instructions from FSSAI will not be implemented in the state and that curd packets will continue to be labelled as “thayir”, the Tamil equivalent of the word curd.

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