Is Patanjali's toothpaste really non-veg?
Delhi High Court calls on Ayush committee to categorise raw materials, given allegation that Divya Manjan not truly vegetarian
The Delhi High Court has directed the committee constituted by the Union Ayush ministry to provide its recommendations on establishing criteria to categorise raw materials used in drug production as vegetarian, non-vegetarian or 'other'.
The directive came in response to a plea filed by lawyer Yatin Sharma, alleging that Patanjali's tooth cleansing product Divya Manjan contains non-vegetarian ingredients despite being labeled as vegetarian.
Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the committee, formed by the Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani Drugs Technical Advisory Board (ASUDTAB), to submit its recommendations within 10 weeks.
Sharma accused Patanjali of misleading the public and sought action against the company for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and deceiving customers. He had filed a complaint with the Ayush ministry last July, prompting the ministry's response stating that there were no provisions for indicating non-vegetarian ingredients in products under the labelling rules.
The ministry said that the ASUDTAB had recommended forming a committee to determine criteria for categorising raw materials used in drugs, taking into account various religious, ethical and regional considerations.
The High Court then disposed of Sharma's plea, citing the ministry's communication regarding the committee formation. It expects the committee to deliver its recommendations within the specified timeframe.
The court said: 'A perusal of the aforesaid communication dated 01.08.2023 shows that a Ccommittee has been constituted to determine the criteria by which raw materials used in the production of drugs can be categorised into veg, non-veg or more categories.'
'In view of the above, it is expected that the committee, so constituted, shall give its recommendations within a period of 10 weeks from today,' it concluded.