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DAIRY PRIDE Momentum Builds

April 4, 2023

House introduction of the DAIRY PRIDE Act on March 8 intensified mobilization among dairy and its allies as FDA’s proposed guidance on the proper labeling of plant-based beverages brings new momentum for NMPF’s efforts at ensuring marketplace integrity.

The Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, Milk, and Cheese To Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everyday Act” aka DAIRY PRIDE, requires FDA to enforce its standards of identity and would supersede the inadequate solution it offered in February, in which plant-based beverages could call themselves “milk” as long as they clearly state their nutritional differences with real dairy.

A bipartisan group of six House members introduced DAIRY PRIDE, led by Reps. John Joyce, R-PA, and Ann Kuster, D-NH. NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern applauded the members – who also included Reps. Mike Simpson, R-ID, Joe Courtney, D-CT, Derrick Van Orden, R-WI, and Angie Craig, D-MN. Now that FDA has made clear it won’t enforce dairy standards of identity of its own volution, “DAIRY PRIDE is necessary for FDA to fulfill its own responsibilities,” Mulhern said.

House introduction followed February’s Senate DAIRY PRIDE introduction led by Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI; Jim Risch, R-ID; Peter Welch, D-VT and Susan Collins, R-ME. Baldwin explained during her guest spot on NMPF’s “Dairy Defined” podcast that the DAIRY PRIDE could pass Congress this year via one of several vehicles, including the farm bill due this year.

“Many of the folks that I’m joining forces with are going to have significant input as we draft a new farm bill, which is something that I expect to get completed this calendar year. So that’s certainly one area that we can look towards,” she said. “We also have funding bills for the Food and Drug Administration, and that would certainly be another opportunity to look at this type of legislation.”

Meanwhile, NMPF is leading grass-roots advocacy on labeling, with a call-to-action organized around the FDA guidance. FDA is accepting comments on its draft guidance until April 24. To participate in NMPF’s call to action, click here.