India defines new regulations for vegan food – here’s what’s new

Author: Elena Amoroso

Read Time:   |  5th July 2022

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India has changed its regulations to clearly define vegan food in order to protect and preserve food authenticity from misleading sales.


The FSSAI (Foods Safety and Standards Authority of India) has moved to protect and clearly define what can and cannot be certified as vegan food to prevent misleading sales.

This new regulation means that products will be assessed from all angles, including the manufacturing and production processes, to ensure that no animals have been involved.

In the new definition, the FSSAI has stated: “Vegan food means the food or food ingredient, including additives, flavourings, enzymes and carriers, or processing aids that are not products of animal origin and in which, at no stage of production and processing, ingredients, including additives, flavourings, enzymes and carriers, or processing aids that are of animal origin has been used.”

This issue has arisen since plant-based brand Impossible Foods acknowledged it had partaken in animal testing to gain certification for its ‘generally recognised as safe’ (otherwise known as GRAS) status from the FDA.

To qualify for this status, the company tested on 200 rats in 2017 and claimed it was necessary in order to save many more animal lives.

Under the new regulations from the FSSAI, this means that Impossible Foods will not be able to provide certified vegan food products.

“The food products to be called vegan, shall not have involved animal testing for any purpose, including safety evaluation, unless provided by any Regulatory Authority,” the FSSAI has stated.

In addition, the regulating body has also passed a mandate that no vegan food can be imported unless it has been issued a certificate by authorities of the exporting country.

The new regulations were first drafted in September 2021, and the FSSAI went on to consult with the public before announcing these new regulations in June 2022.

A new logo will be issued to the certified products to prove they are vegan.

The new logo the FSSAI will provide to the certified vegan food products. Image via Twitter.

The new logo the FSSAI will provide to the certified vegan food products. Image via Twitter.


Countries and the vegan momentum

As some countries are choosing to ban plant-based products from using certain words, India has chosen to redefine vegan food in order to protect it.

In the past weeks, South Africa has chosen to ban plant-based foods with ‘meaty’ names on the grounds that these products were misleading to the public.

France has now followed suit, becoming the first country in the EU to ban plant-based food items for the same reason, despite clear labelling and packaging.

India choosing to clarify what foods can or cannot be vegan couldn’t have come at a better time.

As veganism continues to grow in popularity, India itself has seen an increase in its vegan population.

According to a survey conducted by Statista, respondents from India revealed that 47% consumed plant-based products. Another 44.5% were confirmed to be following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

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Written by

Elena Amoroso

Elena is a Bristol-based photographer who loves trying out the latest vegan products and menus at Bristol's many vegan restaurants. When she's not hunting down the latest vegan eats, Elena loves catching the latest cinema releases, and travelling.

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