Soy and almond 'milk' makers may need to find alternative description

Modesto Morganelli
Luglio 19, 2018

It's one of hundreds of standards maintained by the federal government spelling out how foods with various names need to be manufactured and identified.

"The answer is probably not". To date, the agency has not aggressively gone after the proliferation of plant-based drinks labeled as milk.

Sterols and stanols are naturally occurring plant chemicals with cholesterol-reducing qualities.

Now there are a range of alternative plant-based milk alternatives on the market, made variously from soy, rice, almond, cashew, oat, hazelnut, macadamia, tigernut, coconut, hemp and flax.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told a Washington, D.C. event Tuesday the FDA will crack down on the use of the term "milk" for non-dairy products.

In the United States, standards of identity have been the source of industry spats as diets have evolved, including fights about what gets to be called mayonnaise and yogurt.

As reported by Politico, Gottlieb told the Politico Pro Summit the agency will soon issue a guidance document outlining changes to its so-called standards of identity policies for marketing milk, a perceived win for the US dairy industry.

Gottlieb told the event: "An almond doesn't lactate, I will confess", referring to almond milk and the FDA standards for milk that reference products from lactating animals.

More recently, there are disagreements over what to call meat grown by culturing cells, a science that's still emerging.

The National Milk Producers Federation, which has been pushing for such a crackdown, said it welcomed Gottlieb's statement.

The industry group had recently renewed its push for the FDA to crack down on non-dairy drinks calling themselves "milk".

The dairy industry, in an economic downfall, has petitioned the FDA to enforce those standards, but the agency had yet to address the issue.

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