FDA

Shocker: Dairy Industry Urges FDA to Crack Down on Milk Alternatives

A new bill not surprisingly has several Wisconsin lawmakers' support.

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Endre Majoros / Flickr

Every now and then I like to get soy milk in my coffee instead of the usual skim milk. I have no misconceptions about the product's origins or nutritional value, yet the dairy industry is so worried that consumers like me are being misled by alternatives such as soy, almond, or rice "milk" that it wants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to crack down on non-dairy milk substitutes, the Associated Press reports.

"Standards of identity" for food are requirements mandated by the FDA regarding what specifications a food product must meet in order to use a certain label. These regulations are justified as necessary to protect the consumer.

The standard of identity for milk is rather extensive, but in short, it requires that it be "obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows." As Jim Mulhern, president of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), insisted in the AP report, "Mammals produce milk, plants don't."

The group has for decades asked the FDA to do something about this problem. Now, the NMPF might finally get its wish. A bill was recently introduced to the Senate that would require the FDA to enforce the standard of identity rule. The bill, coyly titled the Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, Milk, and Cheese To Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everyday Act (or the DAIRY PRIDE Act, for short), was unsurprisingly sponsored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat hailing from Wisconsin. A similar bill has been introduced to the U.S. House by Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), and Sean Duffy (R-Wisc.).

Supporters of the DAIRY PRIDE Act claim that over 80 percent of Americans are not meeting the recommended daily dairy intake, and say imitation dairy products do not have the same nutritional value as their "authentic" counterpart. Furthermore, the NMPF complains in a press release that the FDA's lax enforcement "hurts dairy farmers that work tirelessly to ensure their dairy products meet FDA standards and provide the public with nutritious food."

In a letter dated February 2000, NMPF Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Robert D. Byrne decried that soy products were actively competing against the dairy industry. "In many instances, these soy-based beverage products are positioned on the grocery shelf alongside milk and other dairy products in a clear attempt to compete with dairy products as a beverage," he wrote. "In addition, the labeling of soy beverages and accompanying marketing language attempt to portray to consumers that these products are, in fact, dairy-like products by using the term 'milk' on the label."

At least he was honest about the motivations for this push.

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  1. MUH MARKET SHARE

  2. “The standard of identity for milk is rather extensive, but in short, it requires that it be “obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows.”

    Goat farmers and yak herders have a sad.

    1. I suppose breast milk is right out.

    2. Rattlesnake and spider venom farmers still universally despised.

  3. Wait… Soy Milk doesn’t come from cows who were fed soy?!?!? OMG!!!11!

  4. The standard of identity for milk is rather extensive, but in short, it requires that it be “obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows.”

    So what do they do about goat milk?

  5. I’ve always said dairy was gay.

    1. A part of me secretly does wish that they have a flag that’s Holstein, Norwegian Red, Shorthorn, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Jersey, and Dutch Belted striped.

    1. Aren’t we all at first?

  6. Every now and then I like to get soy milk in my coffee instead of the usual skim milk

    Is it “things white people do” day over Reason HQ? Goodness.

    I order all of you to listen to some funky tunes.

    1. “The only thing i hate more than a liar is skim milk. Because it’s water… that’s LYING about being milk.”

    2. I think that might be worse than Robby not knowing how to change a tire.

      I tried putting soy milk in coffee once. It is in no way a substitute for cow’s milk.

      I do like soy milk on cereal sometimes.

      1. Same here. Soy/almond/cashew/coconut milk is fine for cereal, baking, etc., but for coffee or tea it’s gotta be dairy, preferably whole.

        1. What is happening? We’ve had skiing references, soy milk love, vibram shoes wearing, red velvet cake rants and who knows what else today.

          It ain’t white boy day, is it?

          1. Isn’t every day, really?

          2. Deep Dish is still composed predominantly of dairy cheese so you can relax knowing that all is still right in the world.

  7. The bill, coyly titled the Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, Milk, and Cheese To Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everyday Act (or the DAIRY PRIDE Act, for short),

    Tar and feather everyone involved with that name.

    1. Shouldn’t that be the DAIRY MCTPRIDE Act?

      1. Saints preserve us!

  8. RE: Shocker: Dairy Industry Urges FDA to Crack Down on Milk Alternatives
    A new bill not surprisingly has several Wisconsin lawmakers’ support.

    Here would be even a bigger shocker.
    The dairy industry urges to FDA to let them compete with the milk alternative industry.
    (Better yet, eliminate the FDA, or am I asking too much here?)

  9. The stuff isn’t milk. That IS a valid point.

    1. They would *almost* be better served if the Act didn’t pass. That way, every year when Congress has some time to kill, they can grab a headline or two to remind everyone who gets all their news through CNN that Soy is not milk.

      *Almost.*

  10. If it isn’t milk you should not be allowed to call it milk. What’s wrong with that?

    1. The government – with the help of the National Milk Producers Federation, and under the umbrella of Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, Milk, and Cheese To Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everyday Act – determines what constitutes true milk, yogurt, and cheese, and how much you should have of each product, and that’s the way it should be.

    2. The problem is that those other products have been around for a long time and no one is the least bit confused about whether soy milk comes out of a cow or not. Soy milk is a widely used product and forcing it’s makers to change it’s name would cause far more confusion than calling it “soy milk” does. “Milk” is commonly used to describe non-dairy substance with milk like qualities.

    3. Why do you give a fuck what someone calls it?

      1. Milk River has a sad. The water is banned.

  11. I always wondered how you milked an almond.

    Not that there many almonds in almond milk

    Almond milk per 8 oz – 60 calories
    1 Almond – 7 calories (1 cup of whole – 823 calorie)

  12. Btw I only drink evaporated milk. The extra sugar makes up for the missing water

    1. I just snort lines of powdered milk.

      1. I hook an i.v. directly to a cow’s udder and mainline the shit, and i tell you, i have seen God.

  13. I’m going to have to rule that “milk” has long referred to white liquids that are not necessarily secreted from mammal teats. Milk of magnesia or coconut milk, for example. Etymologically the word began as a verb anyway. Today we still say that we “milk” something for all its worth. The dairy people are lucky I do not require them to label it “cow’s milk.”

    1. I’m going to have to rule that “milk” has long referred to white liquids that are not necessarily secreted from mammal teats.

      I am still laughing.

      1. Goddamn, maybe i SHOULD start paying attention to Tony’s comments.

      2. Is there a viscosity limit for white fluids being called “milk”?

      3. Home depot sells cans of varying shades of milk.

    2. The dairy people are lucky I do not require them to label it “cow’s milk.”

      And if you did?

      1. Maybe he works for the USDA.

    3. coconut milk

      Can we get a ruling on coconut water? Not water, so, coconut fluid or coconut Juice?

      Also cocoa butter? No cocoa and no dairy so cocoa-bean extract shortening? Or would it be, because fuck dairy, cocoa-bean butter?

  14. I already channeled my inner ANGRY OLD MAN and wrote letters to Harris and Feinstein urging them to oppose this.

  15. Jesus soytittyfucking Christ.

  16. “Mammals produce milk, plants don’t.”

    Milkweed begs to differ.

  17. And we should take milk off the same list oil is on if it gets spilled …… Dairy farmers (small) are soon gonna be gone because of cheap labor and some crap they like to label as milk but it isn’t !

  18. Customized Cat wallpapers, face backgrounds, glasses, thick coffee mug. This is a heat sensitive ceramic coffee cup.

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