Photo courtesy of Envato Elements
From staff reports
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to release the guidance for properly labeling plant-based milk alternative drinks this summer. The National Milk Producers Federation contends that it is causing consumer confusion by having plant based drinks as “milk,” when currently under FDA’s own standards, milk is defined as a product derived from animals. The last time the FDA enforced the labeling rule was in 1981 when they said that “soybean milk” was a misleading identity statement. The FDA told Singapore that they would not allow the soy product to enter the country. In 1985, according to NMPF, a similar situation occurred with South Korea. Then in 2011, the FDA sent a letter to the “Muscle Milk” company saying that their products were not properly identified and using the term “milk” was misleading.
It has been several years since enforcement has occurred. In a release from NMPF, they state that the FDA needs to bring back the integrity of labeling milk products that are true milk derived products and are hoping that the property labeling returns soon. Any attempt to justify previous non enforcement by saying “but we haven’t been enforcing it” is flat-out wrong — the record shows it. And any argument that says “time has established a new usage while we’ve done nothing” isn’t just untrue, it insults the FDA officials who did stand up for integrity, according to NMPF.