No need for veg, non-veg labels on the drugs: Supreme Court

With this judgement, the companies will not be required to label the products as veg or non-veg.


New Delhi, March 12, 2013: The Supreme Court has set aside the Delhi High Court order which asked the government to amend the rules to classify all non-life-saving drugs and cosmetics as vegetarian and non-vegetarian with 'V' and 'NV' labels, respectively. The High Court passed this order in November last year which asked the central government to amend the rules in spite of Centre’s contention that it wasn’t desirable to do so. However, the Supreme Court set aside the High Court order last week saying that the rules do not envisage this.


Considering the diversity of the Indian market, the court said that it is difficult to specify the origin of a 'vegetarian' or 'non-vegetarian' ingredient and as a result, it will not be right to classify the drugs as vegetarian or non-vegetarian.


Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhpadhaya, in their order, said that food habits in India vary from person to person and place to place. At the same time, religion also plays a very big role and for some a product/food item is vegetarian while for other it is not. As a result, it is very difficult to classify the products as vegetarian and non-vegetarian.


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