January 27th, 2020: The American Dairy Coalition applauds the leadership of Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jim Risch (R-ID), both of whom are pushing back on the misuse of dairy terms on non-dairy products. In a bi-partisan letter to the newly appointed Commissioner of the FDA, they urge the FDA to uphold existing rules that are in place to provide a standard of clarity in product names.
“Dairy farmers across our nation work hard to ensure their products are healthy, nutrient dense and in compliance with FDA regulations regarding the use of dairy terms,” the senators write. “However, there are many non-dairy imitation products in the marketplace using dairy terms. This represents a clear violation of existing FDA rules.”
Previously under the former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, a process had begun to review how these misleading terms were being used and the impact this practice had on consumers. The process of collecting public comments has concluded — but thus far no action has been taken by the FDA. The letter goes on to encourage action from the FDA to address the “unfairness and ensure that dairy terms may only be used to describe products that include dairy.”
“For years, the dairy industry has worked to produce the highest quality dairy products in the world,” said Laurie Fischer, CEO of the American Dairy Coalition. “Consumers have learned they can count on the consistency in both the high nutritional content and safety of our dairy products. The use of dairy terms on non-dairy products allows brands to tap into this reputation without the same standards of consistency and nutritional value. Allowing this practice to continue is detrimental to both the dairy industry and consumers alike.”
The American Dairy Coalition and the dairy producers we represent across the nation commend the efforts of Senators Baldwin and Risch in seeking out further action from the FDA. We look forward to a decisive response from the FDA to end the confusion and unfairness.