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NMPF Thanks Sen. Baldwin for Prodding FDA Nominee Califf on Dairy Labeling

December 14, 2021

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) thanked Senator Tammy Baldwin for her continued advocacy for accurate labeling and public health in her questions for Dr. Robert Califf during today’s hearing on his nomination to be commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Labeling integrity needs to be a top-of-mind issue for Dr. Califf as he moves toward his second stint as FDA commissioner. The ground has shifted since his previous tenure in the Obama administration, both as dairy imitators proliferate and the abuse of lax labeling enforcement creates nutritional confusion for consumers,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “FDA has pledged to offer guidance on this issue within months. Given this, we thank Senator Baldwin for pressing for urgent action today in her questioning.”

In response to a question from Sen. Baldwin, D-WI, asking him whether and when the FDA will begin enforcing its own labeling standards, Dr. Califf said he would make the issue a priority should he be confirmed as FDA commissioner.

There is “almost nothing more fundamental about safety than people understanding exactly what they’re ingesting, so I am committed to making this a priority if I am confirmed,” Dr. Califf said. Video of the exchange with Sen. Baldwin is here.

The National Milk Producers Federation has been speaking out on FDA’s lack of enforcing its own rules against mislabeled plant-based imitators for four decades and is encouraged by recent, long overdue FDA attention to the issue. For more background on NMPF’s position and statements of support from public-health organizations, click here. An NMPF “road map” outlines how the agency can adapt existing standards to reflect the current marketplace and protect labeling integrity. The organization has also repeatedly called on the FDA’s ombudsman to look into the agency’s lack of enforcement of current rules on product labeling for dairy labels and alternatives.