FDA extends comment period on ‘milk’ definitionFDA extends comment period on ‘milk’ definition
Original comment period was scheduled to end on Nov. 27 and now is scheduled to run until Jan. 25.
November 16, 2018
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has extended the comment period by 60 days on the request for information on labeling plant-based products with names that include the names of dairy foods such as “milk,” “yogurt” and “cheese.” The original comment period was scheduled to end on Nov. 27 and now is scheduled to run until Jan. 25.
The agency intends to take this action in response to requests for additional time to submit comments. “FDA believes that the extension would allow adequate time for interested persons to provide input without significantly delaying any potential further action on these important issues,” the agency said in a release.
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) thanked FDA for the extension.
“It is crucial that all interested parties have adequate time to more fully address FDA’s extensive list of questions about the labeling issue and why it matters from a nutrition and public health standpoint,” said Jim Mulhern, president and chief executive officer of NMPF, which has long urged FDA to enforce existing rules on what should and shouldn’t properly be called “milk.”
NMPF added, “This extension will allow the dairy community, as well as health professionals, to fully explain why consumers deserve accurate and honest information about their food options.”
A survey conducted by the research firm IPSOS, commissioned by Dairy Management Inc., found that misperceptions were common regarding the nutritional value of true milk versus imitators that are industrially produced by mixing water with small amounts of a plant-based product, along with various whiteners, stabilizers, emulsifiers and other chemical ingredients.
73% of consumers believed that almond-based drinks had as much or more protein per serving than milk, even though milk has eight times as much protein.
53% said they believed that plant-based food manufacturers labeled their products “milk” because their nutritional value is similar, which is incorrect.
Even research funded by plant-drink processors shows confusion. According to a study from the International Food Information Council Foundation, one-quarter of consumers of coconut, soy and almond beverages either thought that those drinks contained milk or weren’t sure whether they did.
Some organizations have already started filing comments with FDA regarding the definition of milk.
In comments submitted Nov. 1, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) pointed out that since FDA defines "milk" as something produced by "healthy cows," the dairy industry itself isn't producing it, as up to 50% of cows used for milk suffer from mastitis.
"The bovine udder secretions on the market today are contaminated with pus, antibiotics and hormones," PETA president Ingrid Newkirk claimed. "PETA is calling on the FDA to stop fretting about what to call nutritious vegan milks and start coming clean about a fluid that doesn't meet its own definition."
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like
Iowa turkey flocks confirmed with HPAIOct 23, 2023
Current Conditions for
New York, NY
Enter a zip code to see the weather conditions for a different location.
This Week in Agribusiness, Dec. 9, 2023Dec 09, 2023
Grains face modest end-of-week cutsAug 01, 2023
CN acquiring Iowa Northern RailwayDec 08, 2023
HPAI cases rising in California as virus spreads nationwideDec 08, 2023