FDA Inaction Makes DAIRY PRIDE Necessary, Sen. Baldwin Says

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) unwillingness to limit dairy terms to true dairy products makes passage of the DAIRY PRIDE Act more necessary than ever, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, said in a Dairy Defined podcast released today.

“They’re going to continue to allow mislabeled imitation products to be on the market,” Baldwin said. “Wisconsin farmers work so hard to meet the FDA standards of nutrition and quality. They can’t put the word ‘milk’ on the side of a carton of milk unless they meet those standards. It is not fair for plant-based products to be able to say they’re milk when they don’t meet those standards at all.

Baldwin, along with Sens. Jim Risch, R-ID; Peter Welch, D-VT, and Susan Collins, R-ME, last week reintroduced the DAIRY PRIDE Act, which would require FDA to enforce its standards of identity and supersede the inadequate draft guidance it offered in February, in which plant-based beverages could call themselves “milk” as long as they clearly state their nutritional differences with real dairy.

Baldwin said DAIRY PRIDE could pass Congress this year via one of several vehicles, including the farm bill due this year.

“Many of the folks that I’m joining forces with are going to have significant input as we draft a new farm bill, which is something that I expect to get completed this calendar year. So that’s certainly one area that we can look towards. We also have funding bills for the Food and Drug Administration, and that would certainly be another opportunity to look at this type of legislation.”

DAIRY PRIDE is an acronym for the Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, Milk, and Cheese to Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everyday Act.

FDA’s guidance is open for public comment until April 24. Dairy advocates may learn more about the issue and offer comments here.

The full podcast is here. You can also find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Broadcast outlets may use the MP3 file. Please attribute information to NMPF.