Dairy Food Standards & Labeling

Ensuring Accurate and Fair Labeling in the Marketplace

NMPF has long believed in truth and fairness when it comes to product labeling in the marketplace. Deceptive labels that fail to explain the true nature of the product or make a claim without scientific basis are harmful to the consumers who purchase these items, and other companies that follow the rules.

Imitation Dairy Beverages

NMPF vehemently supports federal standards of identity that have existed since the mid-20th century to maintain the integrity of food products. The federal definition of “milk” dictates that the product must have come from a lactating animal. Today, many imitation dairy beverages skirt these regulations and continually label their products using dairy terms and imagery when these items are not at all similar to real cow’s milk.

These products can be sold, but they should be renamed so that consumers better understand the differences between these imitations and real dairy products. The term “milk” (or “cheese”, “yogurt”, “ice cream”) should be used for foods that come from cows.

Want to learn more about what to look for on dairy labels? Visit the REAL® Seal for more information. 

Other Labeling Regulations

NMPF is also engaged on other food labeling issues, including how to label bioengineered foods and what should bear the label of “organic” or “healthy.”