What's the deal with margarine, Prime Minister's Office asks FSSAI

Updated: 04 August, 2020 07:37 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

They said that the illegal excessive use of margarine was affecting the country's dairy farming and the amended act will create public awareness about dairy products made from the milk produced by farmers

Butter is made from cow or buffalo milk while margarine is made using vegetable oils and animal fats. Pic/Getty Images
Butter is made from cow or buffalo milk while margarine is made using vegetable oils and animal fats. Pic/Getty Images

Following union minister Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra's Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development minister Sunil Kedar's demand to ban margarine, which they say is used as an illegal substitute for butter and is harming the health of consumers, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has sought an explanation from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

A communication from Gadkari's office said on Monday that it has also received a response from FSSAI, which has clarified that limit of trans fats is fixed at not more than 5 per cent in bakery and industrial margarine. "The FSSAI says it has issued guidelines for reducing the limit of trans fats in edible oils and fats not more than 3 per cent by 2021 and not more than 2 per cent by 2022. It has also been made mandatory to declare the proportion of trans fats and saturated fats on the labels of products where margarine is used. Products with margarine will have the rider "this is not a dairy product" and it will also have an exclusive logo so that consumers can make an informed choice," the statement said.

Gadkari said his demand for amending the FSS (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 has been fulfilled. "The act will be amended to prevent manufacturers of dairy analogues, including margarine, to mislead the consumers," read his statement.

Gadkari wrote to PM Narendra Modi recently after Kedar petitioned him, explaining the alleged side effects of margarine. They said that the illegal excessive use of margarine was affecting the country's dairy farming and the amended act will create public awareness about dairy products made from the milk produced by farmers.

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First Published: 04 August, 2020 07:04 IST

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