National Milk is renewing its call on the Food and Drug Administration to crack down on the misuse of dairy terms like milk, cheese, and yogurt by imitation products made from soy, rice, almonds, and hemp.
Chris Galen reported Thursday that in 2,000, NMPF sent a petition to the FDA asking them to crack down on processors who used dairy specific terms, primarily milk with “things that don’t got milk.”
The Federation predicted that, if the FDA did not do this, there would be a proliferation of those labels and other products and “sure enough 10 years later,” Galen said, “We’re seeing soy cheese, hemp milk, and non dairy ice cream.”
He pointed out that there are standards of identity in place and “If you use terms like ice cream, cheese, yogurt, or milk, they must be made from dairy milk, milk from the lactation of an animal. You can’t make dairy products out of hemp or rice or soy.”
Galen reported that they received no response in its initial call on the FDA, calling it “very frustrating because we felt that we had a good case and we still feel, 10 years later, that we have a good case here, in fact we have a better case because we’re seeing a bevy of new artificial dairy products reaching store shelves that have imitation products made from hemp, rice, almonds, and other plants, legumes, and vegetables. He added that, in some cases marketers create new words like cheese, spelled with a V instead of an S “in an attempt to skirt the standards of identity.”
This isn’t just a labeling issue, according to Galen, because a lot of these products do not have the same nutritional level or value as real dairy products do and consumers of so-called rice or soy milk, think they’re getting the same vitamin and mineral content as real cow’s milk, don’t.
Related: FDA Should Stop Imitation Products