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.
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. Dairy terms such as “milk” (or “cheese”, “yogurt”, “ice cream”) should be used for dairy foods.
A bipartisan group of legislators has introduced the DAIRY PRIDE Act in both houses of Congress. This legislation seeks to ensure that current federal law regarding the labeling of food products is enforced. Plant-based products that use the term “milk” or “dairy” are misleading and fall well short of the nutritional value of real dairy products. We are working to build strong support for this legislation and we urge you to contact your elected officials to communicate to them how this issue affects you as a dairy farmer first-hand.Take action!
Complementing our efforts to fight fake milk is the DAIRY PRIDE Act. The legislation introduced by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jim Risch (R-ID) in the Senate and Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Mike Simpson (R-ID) in the House further prods the FDA to take action against plant-based imitators of milk, cheese, butter and other products that brazenly flout FDA rules. While NMPF continues to press the agency to strengthen its own enforcement, substantial support for dairy in Congress only underscores the urgency for the FDA to act now.
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.”