From Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation:
“We are very pleased with the Senate’s overwhelming rejection of Sen. Lee’s blatant attempt to interfere with the ability of the Food and Drug Administration to enforce standards of identity for dairy products and other foods. We fought this amendment because it would have undermined the decades-long policy, established by Congress, that the FDA should regulate food names in order to promote honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers.
Standards of identity for milk and other products guarantee that consumers’ expectations are met both in terms of minimum levels of key ingredients and consistency of key sensory and quality attributes. As FDA Commissioner Gottlieb stated last week, consumers are being misled by the nutritional content of plant-based beverages that use the term “milk” on their labels.
Today’s vote should send a very strong message to food marketers who have long been ignoring FDA’s food labeling standards by inappropriately using dairy terms on products that do not contain any dairy. Those days are numbered. FDA now knows it has strong, bipartisan support in Congress in its efforts to assure a fair marketplace. We thank Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jim Risch (R-ID) for their bipartisan work to defeat this amendment.
We also commend Sen. Baldwin for her successful work on a separate amendment that will create additional dairy innovation grants to help companies expand initiatives that will add more value to the milk farmers produce.”