The Indian Government has extended a ban on the imports of milk and milk products from China and has cited food safety concerns for the same. The ban also includes chocolates, products with chocolate, candies, confectionaries, and any food product that contains milk or milk products. The ban has been imposed from June 22nd, 2017 to June 23rd, 2018.
“The matter has been reviewed”, according to Alok Vardhan Chaturvedi, director general of foreign trade. He also added that the ban has been extended further for a time period of 6 months until December 23 or until further orders have been given out.
Meeting at FSSAI headquarters
The issue was recently discussed at the headquarters of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the regulator has confirmed. The FSSAI, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), and the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) were among the departments and ministries who were part of this discussion and recommended the extension of the ban. The ban would be in place until the products’ safety is established on the basis of credible reports and supporting data, according to Madhavi das, chief management services officer, FSSAI.
It is to be noted that the government of India first imposed the ban on import of milk and milk products from China from September 24, 2008, for a period of three months. This ban was due to concerns about the melamine contamination in the products. The ban was then further extended for another 6 months till December 1, 2008. This was from when chocolate, candies, and all other products with milk or milk solids were brought under the ban.
The ban has been resurfacing on and off and extended from time to time in the past decade. This ban will benefit the Indian dairy industry according to local reports.