Compuslory Brown and Green Dots on Packaging of all Food, Cosmetic, Household Consumable Products in India

It is the right of every consumer to know if the product they are using is ‘vegetarian’ or not.

Brown Dot and Green DotIdentification of food items of animal origin was made easier when the red and green dots were made mandatory. Going a step further in the same direction, it has become mandatory now, to put a brown or green dot on cosmetic or other household products, based on the ingredients used. If any body part or whole of any animal/insect/fish/bird is used in the preparation of any cosmetic or household consumable, a brown dot on the packaged good is mandatory to help buyers make more informed choices.

As per the notification issued by Department of Consumer Affairs on 16th June 2014, “Every package containing soap, shampoos, tooth pastes and other cosmetics and toiletries shall bear .at the top of its principal display panel a red or as the case may be, brown dot for products of non-vegetarian origin and a green dot products of vegetarian origin”. [This point has been inserted In the Legal Metrology (packaged Commodities) Rules 2011, in rule 6, after sub-rule (7)]

The Notification can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on this link: 16 June 2014 dated MCA Notification_Compulsory Brown and Green Dots

Animal-welfare Organisations across the country have welcomed this initiative of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and hope that it will help the majority population of India, which is vegetarian, to be aware of their choice of products. In the age of ‘Right to Information’, this new notification is appropriate and useful.

(Courtesy: This post is courtesy the information shared by Ms. Gauri Maulekhi, Co-opted Member, Animal Welfare Board of India)

22 Comments on “Compuslory Brown and Green Dots on Packaging of all Food, Cosmetic, Household Consumable Products in India

  1. A welcome move. Will make life far easier. Earlier I used to Google and read about the company before buying.
    Can i please be enlightened on a fact I have been seeking an answer to for so long.
    India has banned animal testing for cosmetics and household products. Is the ban implemented and is it safe to use all Indian products now???Can it be assumed that animal testing is a thing of the past now???
    I do get this brown and green dot is for animal products used in the product.
    A clarification on this confusion will be highly appreciated.

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    • Animal testing is not completely banned as yet. Please look out for the “Rabbit” sign and “Not Tested on Animals” sign on cosmetics.

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  2. It is a consumer right and we are being devoid of it! In a country like India where there are people of distinct religions and believes…such a disclaimer is essential .

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  3. That means there is no difference even after the ban. i was doing just that before the ban too. Look out for the leaping bunny logo and not tested on animals.
    what is the use of seeking bans when they are not totally implemented even after a year of the ban being passed.
    Implementation is as important as the ban itself. We should focus on implantation as much as we involved in the activity before the ban.
    May we please know from when the green and brown dots are going to be featured???

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    • The ban on no animal testing for cosmetics was proposed by the Ministry. It has still not been enforced by a notification or ammendment in law. Groups like HSI are at it! With regard to the brown and green dots, the notification has already been issued.

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  4. It is not the things mentioned above that should be labelled with green and brown dots.Not many people are aware that a lot of medicines have gelatin in them.Gelatin is made by boiling animal bones,especially the feet of cows and calves.Can the Animal Welfare Board of India look into this matter?

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      • I have with me at this moment Becosule capsules ( a 15 capsule pack) manufactured by Pfizer,and there is no red dot on them.

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      • Sorry, we were wrong in mentioning Becosule…we have seen it on Revital. You are right, even medicines should have this labelling but we assume the thinking is that doing so will not be ethical medically as patients who are vegetarian may refuse the drug if it is labelled so…

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      • The movie “Ship of Theseus” had one protagonist refusing medical treatment on these grounds so our assumption is that what we have written in our previous comment may well be the reason you still don’t see red dots on gelatin based medicines in India

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  5. Speaking for myself,I would prefer that the State did not interfere in my personal choices.To trick someone into doing something they would not normally do by misrepresentation or by withholding information, and then to call it “ethical”, medical or otherwise, seems to me not just unethical but criminal as well.

    The reason put forth that patients would refuse medication if it’s true sources are declared and thus jeopardise their lives seems clearly to derive from the Abrahamic religions that see human lives as above all others and other living beings as being there just to serve their interests.

    In Indic religions, to choose to end one’s life , by depriving oneself ,whether of food and water, or through something else ,is perfectly acceptable.

    Secondly,the meat industry in the West is a powerful and large.They wish to use every part of the animal for commercial profit.It is not as if substitutes for gelatin are not available.The pharmaceutical industry,if it was indeed ethical,could easily make medicines without gelatin or with a substitute. Multi-vitamins available in the West are not coated with gelatin.Why Pfizer feels unable to do so here in India is a question only they can answer.

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    • Prerna I checked with Gauri, who had shared the above blog posts content with us on the position on this and she said much the same thing. I quote, ” Most capsules are gelatin based but a case in Delhi got dismissed for seeking red dots on it saying most medicines aren’t a food choice but life savers. We are still trying to find a way to go past this.”. Share your ideas please if you can think if a way to argue this verdict in courts. Thanks

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  6. Is There any specific place and dimension for displaying the Veg or Non Veg logo. If any please suggest because i couldn’t find any in the notification.

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    • The size of the box with the dot is relative to the packaging size of the product. Packers put the mark anywhere either near the ingredients or near the MRP listing area..some even put it on the front cover of the package. Which product are you searching it on?

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      • i am searching where to place on a cosmetic
        What shall be the dimensions -sizes of these dots on cosmetic package

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      • It can be small, please look up bottles of cosmetics made by VLCC and Lotus Herbals for example so that you can learn

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  7. I have read that some companies use non veg ingredients even after having the green dot. Is it true??
    Products which have e-numbering on their ingredients details and also have the green dot, should I assume that these are from vegetarian sources.

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      • Pl suggest for some identification for products tested on animals to ease out problems we ,cruelty free people face.

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  8. यह एक अच्छी बात है कि ग्राहक जाने कि उसे क्या खरीदा है ।

    Like

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