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Baldwin Asking FDA Commissioner to Join 'Dairy Labeling' Fight
USAgNet - 01/24/2020

U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Jim Risch from Idaho would like to see the new commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration work with Congress to combat the misuse of dairy terms on non-dairy products. In a letter to Dr. Stephen Hahn, the lawmakers asked for his support in enforcing existing laws that would prevent imitation products, such as nut milk, to drop any words associated with dairy.

"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 letter said. "However, there are many non-dairy imitation products in the marketplace using dairy terms. This represents a clear violation of existing FDA rules... and are often assumed to have the same health benefits and nutrient levels as real dairy products."

Baldwin says former Commissioner Scott Gottlieb had began a process of reviewing how to enforce regulations defining what may be labeled a dairy product. The two senators say dairy farmers are now waiting for action from the agency.

"We encourage you to move swiftly to address this unfairness and ensure that dairy terms may only be used to describe products that include dairy," the memo continued. "Imposter products should no longer be able to get away with violating law and taking advantage of dairy's good name."

Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) also signed the letter.

Baldwin and Risch are also lead co-sponsors of the DAIRY PRIDE Act of 2019 that would require non-dairy products made from nuts, seeds, plants, and algae to no longer be mislabeled with dairy terms such as milk, yogurt or cheese.

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