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In India, packaged food items must bear a compulsory symbol indicating whether they are vegetarian or non-vegetarian. According to the law, vegetarian foods must be labeled with a Green symbol, whereas non-vegetarian foods must be labeled with a Brown symbol. Green and brown dots are required to be labeled on food products in India mandatorily to inform consumers if the products they are purchasing are vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
To distinguish between vegetarian and non-vegetarian alternatives, packaged food commodities in India must bear the mandatory symbol of a green or brown dot. The green and brown dots are used on food products to indicate whether they are vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
The symbol has been in use since 2006 when the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Act was passed, and it became mandatory in 2011 when the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulation was enacted.
“Veg” and “Non-Veg” food
Non-vegetarian food is defined as any food that comprises whole or parts of any animal, including birds, freshwater, or marine animals, or eggs or products of any animal origin, but not milk or milk products. Vegetarian food items are those that are not included in the definition of non-vegetarian food.
Identifying a product as “Veg" or "Non-Veg”
All food makers are required to state whether their product is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. The identifying mark "Veg" or "Non-Veg" for the food category must appear on a food product label. The consumer will be able to identify if a packaged item is vegetarian or non-vegetarian by looking for a brown circle in a square or a green circle in a square on the package. A brown circle denotes that the food item contains non-vegetarian ingredients, whereas a green circle indicates that the food item is vegetarian. The “veg” or “non-veg” logos are denoted by the green and brown circles in a square, respectively.
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