FSSAI seeks strict vigil against selling of human milk as infant food


The FSSAI has written to all the licensing authorities including Commissioners and Regional Directors to keep a strict vigil on violation by certain food businesses selling ‘human milk’ under various product categories including dairy milk product and infant food.

The officials were asked to advise all the designated officers under their jurisdiction to strictly comply with the regulatory provisions of FSS Act and not grant licences to such food businesses using human milk. Human milk is prohibited under the FSS Act.

FSSAI has directed the Commissioners to advise all the designated officers under their jurisdiction to strictly comply with the regulatory provisions and no licence/registration for processing/sale of mothers’ milk or products derived from mothers’ milk/human milk should be granted to any food business operator (FBO).

According to the food authority, it was in receipt of several complaints regarding manufacturing and marketing of mothers’ milk and/or products derived from mothers’ milk under FSSAI licence.

Further, it was reported that such FBOs obtained FSSAI licence under either standardised food products’ category like milk and milk products or as ‘infant milk substitute’ or ‘infant food’, without disclosing the details of such human milk based products.

Human milk is legally prohibited in India wherein the statutory provision says that ‘donor human milk can’t be used for commercial purpose’. The officials were asked to make sure that FBOs comply with the regulatory provisions and obligations in accordance with the FSSAI licence.

“Food related to infants shall comply with the standards specified under the FSS (Food for Infant Nutrition) Regulations, 2020, which doesn’t cover either mothers’ milk or any product derived from mothers’ milk. Further, the processing and sale of human milk is not permitted under the FSS Act, 2006, Rules and Regulations thereunder,” reads the order issued by the FSSAI’s compliance department.

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