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States Want Clarity in Enforcing Dairy Product Terminology

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State milk regulators want the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to give more guidance in the enforcement in proper use of milk and milk product labeling, especially when it comes distinguishing differences between real dairy products and plant-based drinks.

The request came from the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS), which is meeting this week in Grand Rapids, Mich. “This is the strongest statement yet that the abuse of dairy terms has gone too far,” says a news release from the National Milk Producers Federation.  “It’s time for FDA to work with state agencies in defending standards of identity for dairy products,” said Beth Briczinski, NMPF’s vice president of dairy foods and nutrition.

The regulators passed a resolution unanimously today calling on USDA to clarify FDA and state responsibilities in ensuring and enforcing standardized dairy product names. “FDA needs to stop picking and choosing which regulations it wants to enforce,” says Briczinkski.

FDA enforcement of dairy labeling would also bring the United States into closer alignment with trade partners such as Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union. These countries and the EU “do not allow plant-based imitators to call themselves milk on their package,” she says.

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