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NMPF Submits Comments to Healthy Rule; Emphasizes Need for Modification

March 2, 2023

NMPF submitted comments Feb. 16 urging FDA to modify the proposed rule to allow for a broader range of dairy products to qualify, including milk, cheese and yogurt at all fat levels and that contain modest amounts of added sugar.

The proposed rule aimed to update the definition of the “healthy” claim to align more closely with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. NMPF emphasized that while in theory this is a good approach, it runs the risk of ignoring the best and newest nutrition science, such as newer science on the positive and neutral impact of dairy fats. According to the 2020-2025 DGAs, nearly 90 percent of Americans under-consume dairy.

“The ability to make “healthy” claims on dairy foods holds the potential to educate consumers about dairy’s nutritional value and could improve consumption closer to DGA recommendations,” NMPF noted in its comments.

National Milk also urged FDA to take no actions which would imply that plant-based beverages are nutritionally equivalent to real dairy. Several nutrition organizations including Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Heart Association do not recommend plant-based imitators as they are not nutritionally equivalent to dairy products.