The Supreme Court of India had recently dismissed the special appeal of FSSAI against interim order passed by the Bombay High Court on the labelling of Canola Oil.
A while back Dalmia Continental Pvt. Ltd had filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court to stay the FSSAI new guidelines for labelling of imported Canola oil which required that all Canola Oil to be labelled as ‘Rapeseed Oil – Low Erucic Acid.’ All Canola oil that was labelled only Canola oil was blocked at ports by the FSSAI.
Dalmia Continental Pvt. Ltd was granted stay by the Bombay High Court. After this stay the Bombay High Court had ordered the release of all canola oil consignments of Dalmia Continental Pvt. Ltd blocked at the ports. However, on September 16 the FSSAI had gone to the Supreme Court with a special leave petition against the interim order of the Bombay High Court.
The Supreme Court had dismissed the special appeal of the FSSAI by saying that FSSAI does not have the mandate to order re-labelling. It follows therefore that the mandatory relabelling of Canola Oil as ‘Rapeseed Oil – Low Erucic Acid’ will no longer hold. The Supreme Court also said that Dalmia Continental Pvt. Ltd was in full compliance of the existing law. This means that there will be no restriction on import of Canola oil because of labelling. The FSSAI had also asked to withdraw their special appeal so they could continue to argue their case in the Bombay High Court but the Supreme Court did not allow them to withdrawal and passed the order in favour of Dalmia Continental Pvt. Ltd
Dalmia Continental Pvt. Ltd is the largest importer of Canola oil but the entire industry was opposing the re-labelling of imported Canola oil since ‘Canola’ is recognised the world over as a healthy oil and to term it as ‘Rapeseed Oil – Low Erucic Acid’ would mean comparing it to Rapeseed oil which in India means an oil with high erucic acid, whereas canola oil has low erucic acid. The Supreme Court ruling comes as a breather for canola oil importers who will now be able to import canola oil by the name canola oil.