National Milk Producters Federatioin commended a bipartisan group of senators, led by Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI; Jim Risch, R-ID; Peter Welch, D-VT, and Susan Collins, R-ME, for re-introducing the DAIRY PRIDE Act, which would end the problem of consumer confusion of the nutritional content of plant-based beverages the Food and Drug Administration took inadequate steps to remedy last week.
“DAIRY PRIDE is needed more than ever, now that FDA has offered guidance on the labeling of plant-based beverages that, while taking steps in the right direction, ultimately doesn’t remedy the problem it seeks to solve, which is the proven confusion among consumers created when plant-based beverages steal dairy terms to make their products appear healthier than they really are,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation.
“FDA has acknowledged the problem of nutritional confusion without providing a complete solution,” Mulhern said. “DAIRY PRIDE solves the problem by requiring FDA to enforce what its own standards of identity state: that ‘milk’ is a term reserved for animal products and that plant-based drinks or beverages shouldn’t be allowed to use dairy terms in their labeling.”
The Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, Milk, and Cheese To Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everyday Act” aka DAIRY PRIDE, requires FDA to enforce its standards of identity and would supersede the inadequate solution it offered last week, in which plant-based beverages could call themselves “milk” as long as they clearly state their nutritional differences with real dairy. While the long-awaited guidance acknowledges the need to address consumer confusion, it does not resolve the cause of the problem, which is imitators using dairy terms. The logical solution is to limit dairy terms to dairy products, which DAIRY PRIDE would achieve.
FDA is accepting comments on its draft guidance until April 24. Meanwhile, DAIRY PRIDE introduction in the House of Representatives is expected within weeks.
“Consumers and dairy producers, along with their allies in the nutrition and health communities, thank Sens. Baldwin, Risch, Welch and Collins for their leadership in this important public-health issue,” Mulhern said. “We look forward to working with our Senate and House champions to enact the DAIRY PRIDE Act during the 118th Congress.”