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States want clarity in dairy terminology

State milk regulators are asking the Food and Drug Administration to give more guidance in the enforcement of the proper use of milk and milk-product labeling standards.

They say it’s especially necessary for distinguishing the difference between real dairy products and plant-based drinks.

The request for guidance came from the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments, meeting this week in Michigan.

The National Milk Producers Federation called it the strongest statement yet that the abuse of dairy terms has gone too far.

In a statement, the regulators say, “It’s time for the FDA to work with state agencies in defending standards of identity for dairy products.”

Regulators at the conference this week passed a resolution calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help clarify FDA and state responsibilities in enforcing standardized dairy product names.

The resolution says, “FDA needs to stop picking and choosing which regulations it wants to enforce.”

They say a move like this would also bring the U.S. into closer alignment with trading partners that “don’t allow plant-based imitators to call themselves milk on their package.”

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