Idaho Senators Take Aim at Non-dairy Products Using Milk in Name
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-Idaho's senators along with several other law makers are taking aim at what they call mislabeled non-dairy products with a new bill designed to protect diary products. Idaho Republican Senator Jim Risch along with Wisconsin Democrat Senator Tammy Baldwin have introduced legislation that would prohibit the use of the name "milk" on non-dairy products made from nuts, seeds, plants, and algae. The Defending Against Limitations and Replacements of Yogurt, milk, and cheese to Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everday Act (DIARY PRIDE Act) would prohibit the mislabeling of non-dairy items with terms like milk, yogurt, or cheese.
The legislation was introduced following a proposed guidlines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow nut, oat, soy, and other non-dairy products to use the name "milk" in their labeling.
For too long, plant-based products with completely different nutritional values have wrongly masqueraded as dairy,” said Senator Risch in a statement. “This dishonest branding is misleading to consumers and a disservice to the dairy farmers who have committed their lives to making milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and more nutritious products Idahoans enjoy every day. It is past time that the Food and Drug Administration enforce its own definitions for dairy terminology, prevent imitation products from deceiving consumers, and start advocating for the farmers who feed us.
What Would the DAIRY PRIDE Act Do?
The legislation would require the FDA to rewrite it's proposed guidelines and issue new guidance regarding the mislabeling of non-dairy products. It would also nullify any guidelines issued by the agency that are not consistent with current dairy standards. The senators claim the FDA's proposed guidelines contradict its own regulations that define dairy products as coming from dairy animals like cows and goats.
Dairy Groups Support the DAIRY PRIDE Act
The Idaho Dairymen's Association and the National Milk Producers Federation have voiced their support for the legislation. Other law makers have also voiced their support for the bill including Idaho Senator Mike Crapo (R), Maine Senator Susan Collins (R), and Vermont Senator Peter Welch (D). Other senators from Main, New Mexico, Kansas, and Minnesota have co-sponsored the bill.
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