Amul MD takes on PETA; calls ‘vegan milk’ as lab chemicals

Amul’s managing director RS Sodhi lashed back at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) India over the demand to switch to ‘vegan milk’ from dairy products. In a recent tweet directed at PETA India, RS Sodhi raised the question over people’s affordability and willingness to consume synthetic food made from chemicals in laboratories. “… how many can afford expensive lab-manufactured factory food made out of chemicals and synthetic vitamins,” read part of the tweet posted by RS Sodhi. In his tweet, Sodhi also invoked the livelihoods of 10 crore farmers dependent on the dairy industry.

Earlier, in a letter written to Amul’s Sodhi, PETA said that the dairy major could certainly profit from the rising interest in vegan products such as vegan cheeses, yogurts, etc. It also mentioned how companies such as Nestle, Danone, General Mills, and Epigamia have forayed into dairy-free products through acquisitions and new launches. There are many alternatives of dairy milk available in the markets such as almond milk, soya milk, oat milk, coconut milk etc.

The apex body of the cooperative dairy sector has contended that beverages or products derived from soya, almonds and so on cannot be sold as ‘milk’ or ‘milk products’ such as paneer, curd or yogurt. The National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI), in a plea before the Delhi High Court, raised the issue whether products derived particularly from plants can be termed as milk or milk products.

Earlier last week, RS Sodhi said that plant-based products are nothing but genetically modified lab foods that are made out of chemicals and synthetic materials by big corporations and MNCs with the only objective of profit making and not a livelihood.

PETA in one of the replies quoted the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which said that ‘cow and buffalo milk is excellent, but for calves’. “All species make enough milk for their own babies. Cows/buffaloes in the dairy sector are often drugged and genetically manipulated to produce unnatural amounts of milk so much it often results in lameness, mastitis and other ailments,” PETA said in another tweet.

Amul’s Sodhi said that foreign-funded NGOs are running campaigns to tarnish the Indian dairy industry which unlike the western world is not a factory farm industry. Cattle are part of a dairy farmer’s family, nobody tortures them.

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