Farmer group: Time to end ‘anything goes’ dairy labeling of plant-based products
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Posted by: Jamie Mara, director of public relations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 31, 2019
Contact: Jamie Mara
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative
(920) 209-3990 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Farmer group: Time to end ‘anything goes’ dairy labeling
of plant-based products
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative submits comments to FDA
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Given the blitz of dairy imitation foods hitting grocery stores and the corresponding customer confusion, a cooperative representing dairy farmers throughout the Midwest is demanding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration no longer turn a blind eye to misleading labeling.
In comments submitted to the FDA this week, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative called on the agency to “take immediate action” to enforce existing regulations that define dairy foods as originating from cow’s milk. The enforcement is long overdue and increasingly important, Edge said.
“The number of plant-based products using dairy names on the label has increased dramatically in recent years…. The lack of FDA action has led to an anything goes mentality in the marketplace,” the co-op, one of the largest in the country by milk volume, said in its comments.
Labeling plant-based products to mimic milk, cheese, yogurt and other real dairy foods betrays the trust of customers who equate dairy with health and nutrition — which are frequently cited as main purchase criteria for shoppers buying dairy or plant-based foods and beverages. In reality, the nutritional value of dairy products is greater, Edge said.
The co-op also cited the results of third-party national research it commissioned with other dairy groups in Wisconsin regarding customer perceptions of plant-based foods labeled to mimic real cheese. The survey showed that customers were confused about whether the imitations were indeed cheese and whether they carried the same nutritional value.
Edge submitted its comments after the FDA asked for public input to help determine customers’ understanding of the labeling and product differences and the effects on purchasing decisions. The FDA says the input could affect any industry guidance it might issue.
Tweet about this: Dairy farm group @voiceofmilk tells @US_FDA it’s time to stop ‘anything goes’ dairy labeling of plant products
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative provides dairy farmers in eight Midwestern states with a powerful voice — the voice of milk — in Congress, with customers and within their communities. Under the Federal Milk Marketing Orders, the co-op also provides milk testing verification services and market information. Edge, based in Green Bay, Wis., is one of the top cooperatives in the country based on the amount of milk produced by its members. For more information, visit voiceofmilk.com.