India ready to allow US dairy imports with riders

INDIA IS READY to allow dairy imports from the US, if Washington can guarantee that those don’t violate religious sentiments in India.

The dairy products in India are an integral part of the Hindu methods of worship, which require that the products are derived from animals which have never consumed any feeds containing internal organs, blood meal, or tissues of ruminant origin. New Delhi has told Washington that it would open its market for US dairy products, provided veterinary officials certify that the products are made from milk of animals and not raised on feed made of bovine body extracts.

While other dairy exporters to India have complied with this requirement based on religious and cultural grounds, the US administration has been resisting mandatory certification. “We have reiterated that the US can explore similar mechanisms of certification as Australia, New Zealand and the EU,” the official said. Greater market access for its dairy products is one of the demands that the US has raised with India during bilateral trade discussions. The US dairy industry claims that if India provides market access, exports would increase by up to $100 million (₹ 700 crore).

India reiterated its stand in a fresh communication to the US last week, asking it to resolve all bilateral trade issues “in a beneficial manner … in an agreed upon framework”.