Girl pouring milk into glass.
October 26, 2017

NMPF ‘Implores’ FDA to Enforce Food Labeling Regs

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is imploring the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce milk and dairy standards of identity.

The plea came in a letter sent this week to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb after he publicly commented on his intent to review food labels and their impact on public health. Earlier this month, Gottlieb told the Wall Street Journal: “I want to see the agency step in to adjudicate some of the important claims that product developers want to make on labeling that could be important in informing consumers.”

Jim Mulhern, NMPF present and CEO, said Gottlieb’s focus on label claims provides an opportunity “to make a clear statement against the inaccurate and misleading labels commonly associated with plant-based imitators. The name of non-dairy alternatives must reflect current regulations and standards of identity, and should not mislead consumers as to the true nutrient value of the product….

“The lack of enforcement by FDA of the long-standing labeling provisions of various standards of identity for milk and dairy products and other pertinent federal labeling regulations has led to rampant consumer fraud related to the inferior nutrient content of these non-dairy products compared to their true dairy counterparts,” says Mulhern.

Earlier this year, NMPF did a marketplace survey of 244 plant-based beverages in the Washington, DC area. None of them were nutritionally equivalent to real milk.

“Consumers who purchase these imitations are not receiving the same level of nutrients found in cow’s milk, and that means Americans are falling short of the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals for a healthy diet,” says Beth Briczinski, NMPF’s VP for dairy foods and nutrition. “FDA must act on this matter or else see the further decline of proper nourishment of our children and families.”