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Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice

The National Milk Producers Federation issued concern over misidentified milk products, according to a letter signed by Jim Mulhern, president and chief executive officer of NMPF. Members of the federation view the Federal Drug Administration’s current labeling of plant-based milk products as a “fiasco.” 

Following a controversial draft for labeling guidance of plant-based milk products in Feb., wherein the FDA recommended plant products be labeled as “milk” as well as a voluntary statement on its nutritional content compared to dairy milk, the FDA reopened a comment period for labeling guidance of plant-based milk products.  

“The misleading labeling charade must end before it gets out of hand,” Mulhern wrote.  

Producers of both plant-based products and dairy milk found issue with the FDA’s draft, with the Plant-Based Food Association expressing concern over the draft’s implication that PBMA’s nutritional value is “inferior” to traditional milk. On the other hand, dairy producers did not view the draft as a sufficient solution to the mislabeling of PBMA as nutritional.  

U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Jim Risch, from Wisconsin and Idaho, respectively, introduced the DAIRY PRIDE Act following the FDA draft, stating that the FDA guidance “allows plant-based products to continue to use dairy terms despite not containing dairy, nor having the nutritional value of dairy products.” 

Further comments on the FDA’s draft guidance may be submitted to The deadline for comments is set to close on July 31.  

According to the NMPF, dairy farmers welcome plant-based products to compete in the marketplace, but mislabeling products does not foster fair competition.  

“We implore you to stop this false, misleading, and completely unlawful labeling. As we have seen in the decades-long folly of plant-based beverage labeling, an ounce of prevention is worth oceans of cure,” Mulhern wrote.  

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