The petition, created by The Good Food Institute (which supports 'clean meat' and plant-based dairy alternatives), invites consumers to, “Please tell your senators to oppose this absurd legislation; everyone knows that almond milk doesn’t come from cows who have been fed a lot of almonds!”
It adds: “The DAIRY PRIDE Act would force any product that is not the ‘lacteal secretion’ of a cow– i.e. products like soy and almond milk – to be renamed or face punishment from the FDA for ‘misleading’ consumers.
“No one is purchasing plant-based milk, cheese, or yogurt because they’ve been tricked into thinking it’s a cow’s ‘lacteal secretions.’ Consumers are buying plant-based alternatives precisely to avoid consuming dairy… The DAIRY PRIDE Act is a waste of government resources and unfairly privileges the dairy industry over plant-based alternatives.”
IDFA: Milk should be milk
The National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association, however, argue that the Dairy Pride Act simply requires the FDA to enforce standards of identity already enshrined in law that limit the use of dairy terms (milk, cheese, yogurt) to dairy products.
“These plant-based products are imitations, but they are not substitutes for the comprehensive nutrient package offered by real milk,” said Michael Dykes, president and CEO of IDFA. “The reason we have food standards is to preserve the integrity and consistency of what’s inside the packages. Milk should be milk.”
"I sell 'artisan almond milk products .' I don't even know what that means, and I'm making them..."
Matthew Sade, CEO, Lyrical Foods (Kite Hill)
What does the Dairy Pride Act say?
The Dairy Pride Act would “require that non-dairy products made from nuts, seeds, plants, and algae no longer be confusingly labeled with dairy terms like milk, yogurt, and cheese.”
It would also permit products from the lacteal secretions of other hooved mammals such as goats to be described as 'milk,' 'cheese,' and 'yogurt.'
The bill would require the FDA to issue guidance for nationwide enforcement of “mislabeled imitation dairy products” within 90 days and report to Congress two years after enactment to show it had met its obligations.
It follows a December 16, 2016 letter from 34 lawmakers urging the FDA to enforce dairy standards of identity for milk (limited to the lacteal secretions of cows), and crack down on companies it believes are openly flouting these standards.
Click HERE to read the petition.
Click HERE to get the National Milk Producers’ perspective on The Dairy Pride Act.
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