The massive congressional spending bill signed into law last week expresses Congress’ concern that many plant-based foods and beverages are not properly labeled. It builds on language from the DAIRY PRIDE Act (DPA), a bipartisan bill introduced last year in both chambers of Congress, to compel the Food and Drug Administration to act against misbranded imitations.
Given the existing definition of milk as a product of a dairy animal, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said that Congress’ instructions to FDA in the omnibus bill should restrict the ability of beverages made from plant foods from using the term “milk” on their labels. This will also affect products misusing other dairy food names such as “cheese” and “yogurt” that are defined in the Code of Federal Regulations and cited in the congressional bill.
Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF, expressed appreciation for the support of congressional members in both parties to ensure the spending bill included these and other priority issues of importance to dairy producers.
“It’s shaping up to be a difficult year economically for many dairy farmers, and the passage of these provisions is a bright spot for our members,” Mulhern said. “We will continue to work with the House and Senate on other priorities, such as additional improvements to the dairy safety net, and changes to our immigration policies that address the labor needs of our farmers.”