Home 5 Ag Stories Dairy Industry Fights Labeling of Imitation Milk

Dairy Industry Fights Labeling of Imitation Milk

by Ken Root

Listen Here: World of Agriculture 1-4-17

Almond milk in bottle with almonds

Define Milk. The Dairy Industry says it does not come from Almonds.

An effort is underway in Washington D.C. to clarify ‘what is milk’ and to stop the mislabeling of milk imitation products.

A bipartisan letter in Congress was drafted in December and supported by the National Milk Producers Federation urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate the improper use of dairy terms.

Chris Galen with the National Milk Producers Federation says a proper clarification is needed. “Not just a dictionary definition, but products that should be defined as milk have to come from a dairy animal. Therefore, plant based imitators, like soybeans. You don’t crack open a soybean and get milk out of it. It needs to be reflective on how these products are labeled.”

Research shows that other countries have already adopted such measures to proper identify milk products.

Galen says there is some marketing deception used in these plant-based products. “They use flavorings, and coloring’s, they do everything they can do to take some almond paste and water and ground up vitamins, and mix it up….trying to make it look like milk. They even put it in a carton, use very friendly imagery, as well as terminology trying to tell consumers that this is an acceptable substitute for the real deal.”

Many consumers are interested in the nutritional value of their dairy products today and Galen says these imitation dairy products come up short in meeting the nutritional value of milk.

“There is no protein and often it doesn’t have nearly the same amount of vitamins and minerals. It is not a one to one comparison between cow’s milk and almond, rice, soy, pea’s, or anything else they try to get milk from.”