NMPF to FDA: Instead of Issuing New Labeling Regs, Enforce Those on Dairy Imposters
June 10, 2014
In a May 5 letter, NMPF questioned why the FDA is focused on clarifying the use of terms like “dried cane syrup” or “evaporated cane juice” at the same time it allows soy, rice, nut, and hemp products to repeatedly define themselves as milk in violation of FDA’s own long-standing food standards.
“It seems rather disingenuous for the Agency to utilize its often-referenced ‘limited resources’ to issue additional labeling guidance, while simultaneously not enforcing existing regulations pertaining to the identity of foods” like imitation dairy products, NMPF wrote. “The Agency has blatantly disregarded the names displayed on the labels of imitation dairy products (e.g., ‘soy milk’, ‘rice yogurt’, etc.) in the current marketplace.
“While the FDA has made its position clear through warning letters to several manufacturers … these actions have been too infrequent to be effective, essentially creating a labeling landscape free of enforcement,” NMPF said.
The letter was the latest in a long series of NMPF attempts to get the FDA to enforce requirements for the labeling of these imposters, many of which are not nutritionally equivalent to real dairy products.
“Manufacturers of these imitation products have misled American consumers for far too long – making a mockery of current labeling regulations – by usurping the ‘dairy halo’ associated with wholesome and nutritious milk and dairy products,” the letter said.