x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 September 2017

Vegetarian group calls for labelling system

The UAE should introduce mandatory vegetarian-friendly labelling on all food products, says a regional vegetarian group.

The UAE should introduce mandatory vegetarian-friendly labelling on all food products, says a regional vegetarian group.

"As a world renowned tourist destination, it is vital to have food labels clearly indicating whether a product is suitable for vegetarians," said Sandhya Prakash, the founder and director of the Middle East Vegetarian Group, during the group's first congress at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, yesterday.

The group hopes to work with the government to create and monitor a labelling system for vegetarian and vegan foods.

Vegetarian labelling has already been established in Europe and India. In the UK, foods approved by the Vegetarian Society can display a symbol of a seedling. The food must meet a number of conditions, including being free of meat and animal-derived additives. In India, such products carry a green dot. The labelling is legally required in India. In the UK, the Food Standards Agency has released guidelines, but there are no laws.

mdetrie@thenational.ae