Dairy groups applaud House members urging FDA to restrict meaning of ‘milk’
January 19, 2017
Dairy groups applauded when Reps. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Peter Welch, D-Vt., recently led a bipartisan coalition of 32 other House members in a letter to urge Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf to restrict the use of dairy terms on labels of plant-based products such as milk, cheese and yogurt.
In the letter, the House members said they believed using the term "milk" with plant-based products confuses consumers and violates milk's standard of identity.
"You haven't 'got milk' if it comes from a seed, nut or bean," National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern said in a statement. "In the many years since we first raised concerns about the misbranding of these products, we've seen an explosion of imitators attaching the word 'milk' to everything from hemp to peas to algae. We don't need new regulations on this issue; we just need FDA to enforce those that have been on the books for years."
International Dairy Foods Association President and CEO Michael Dykes said in the same statement that while "imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, dairy imitators do not naturally provide the same level of nutrition to the people buying them as milk does."
Dykes also maintained that most of the plant-based products are "nutritionally inferior."
— The Hagstrom Report