(July 29, 2010) A rose by any other name is still a rose, so it has been said, but that doesn’t apply to dairy products, according to the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). The Federation’s Chris Galen updated DairyLine listeners in Thursday’s broadcast on imitation dairy product labeling.
You recall that, in April, NMPF wrote the Food and Drug Administration asking it to crack down on what NMPF calls the “misbranding of non dairy products that use terms like milk, cheese, or yogurt.”
This week, NMPF responded to requests by the FDA for public input on what types of information should be allowed on the front of packages, including labels and shelf tags when consumers encounter these products in stores.
“We’ve used this as another opportunity to remind the Food and Drug Administration that they really should disallow the use of terms like soy milk, rice yogurt, and so on,” Galen said, “Because those are often times things that consumers look at first and the only things they look at when they make a purchasing decision.”
He adds that when consumers see plant-based products with milk or yogurt in their name, they assume those products contain similar levels of protein, vitamins, and minerals that dairy products do but “research shows that imitation products made from plants, vegetables, weeds, and seeds don’t have the same level of nutrition,” Galen said.
What asked if NMPF has received any reaction from the FDA, Galen answered that this comment period will take a while to work through but they did receive a letter from the FDA, in response to the April petition, thanking NMPF for their response and said their input would be “take under advisement.”
Galen said the FDA hasn’t quite brushed NMPF off but were fairly non committal in terms of what they’re going to do, “so we’re just going to keep up the drum beat on this and keep pressure on the federal government, particularly the FDA, because they seem very concerned about how foods are presented, marketed, and packaged so the whole issue of whether or not foods have the right names to begin with should be a front and center issue for them,” he concluded.
Tomorrow on DairyLine, Dairy Profit Weekly editor, Dave Natzke, reports on a new Agriculture Department study that indicates the U.S. is becoming less attractive as a dairy import market. He looks at the ongoing competition between butter and margarine consumption, and Dr. Paul Chandler has his weekly “Nutrition Update” in our second half.