A national survey on terms related to milk conducted by global market research and consulting firm IPSOS found:
- 20% of all consumers said plant-based beverages should be labeled milk;
- 41% of buyers of plant-based drinks support labeling of plant-based milk beverages as milk.
- About 50% of consumers perceive that the main ingredient of a plant-based beverage is the plant itself.
- More than one-third of consumers believe plant-based beverages have the same or more protein than dairy milk.
Instead, the National Milk Producers Federation says, planted-based beverages are mostly flavored water and milk has up to eight times more protein than plant-based beverages.
“This new data is more proof that the plant-based food and beverage industry is exploiting consumer confusion to boost their bottom line, and consumers don’t like it,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “Plant-based beverage brands that sell nutritionally inferior products under the health halo of milk mislead consumers. FDA must enforce its existing regulations.”
The online IPSOS poll – commissioned by Dairy Management Inc. – was conducted Oct. 30-31, 2018, and surveyed 2,006 adults nationwide. Full results are available here, under “Phase II.”
The public has until Jan. 28, 2019, to comment on the request for labeling plant-based products with names that include the names of dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt and cheese. The original comment period was due to end Nov. 27, 2018.
- To submit electronic comments, go to https://www.regulations.gov to Docket Folder FDA-2018-N-3522.
- Written comments must be sent to: Docket Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.
- All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-N-3522 for “Use of the Names of Dairy Foods in the Labeling of Plant-Based Products.”
What are people saying?
As of midday on Jan. 22, 11,776 comments had been received on the use of dairy terms in the labeling of plant-based products.
Here’s a sampling of the comments:
“I have always thought that the word "Milk" or "Dairy" should not be on any of those products, that are not actually made from cow's milk. Please stop labeling dairy when it is not.”
“Labels on plant-based products aren't the problem the label on cow's milk is. What's misleading is labeling cows' secretions as "milk" when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) own definition of this term requires that it be produced by "healthy cows." Incessant milking takes a cruel toll on the cows abused in the dairy industry their bodies are manipulated to produce milk at such unnatural rates that many suffer from lameness and osteoporosis as their nutrients are depleted. I want milk from plants, not abused cows.”
“Yes, the term "milk" is completely appropriate when used as part of the name of plant based beverages. "Milk" is not the property of the dairy industry.”
“Please stop the misleading information regarding non milk products being labeled as milk.”
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