There is nothing more frustrating for dairy producers than when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refuses to enforce current regulations that would prohibit vegetable-based products from being labeled milk when they contain absolutely zero dairy ingredients.

The Dairy PRIDE Act, Senate Bill 130 and House Bill 778, would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce federal “Standards of Identity” that say products labeled “milk,” “cheese,” and “yogurt” must come from a dairy animal. The standard of identity for the term “milk” has been on the books for decades. The Dairy PRIDE Act wouldn’t create new regulations — it would simply require the FDA to enforce current law. Simply put, the bill requires enforcement against misbranded milk alternatives.

Dairy farms and the milk they produce are the economic backbone of Idaho. This especially holds true in rural areas of the state. More importantly, we believe it is critical that consumers get the nutrition they expect when the label on a food package says milk, cheese, or yogurt.

In a House Agriculture Committee Hearing on dairy issues held in March, the CEO of International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) stated in an exchange with Congressman Doug LaMalfa that the labeling issue is “probably best resolved in the marketplace.”

For dairy producers who are facing more transparency in their production practices from dairy processors in order to address consumer demands, strong support from IDFA would have been appreciated.

Simply said, transparency and truthfulness in marketing should be equally important to consumers as dairy production practices.

The Senate Bill currently has two Republican and three Democratic co-sponsors. The House version of the Bill has 13 Republican and seven Democratic co-sponsors. The Idaho Dairymen’s Association appreciates that all our delegation members, Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and Representatives Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador, are cosponsoring the “Dairy PRIDE” Act, recognizing the importance of the Idaho dairy industry to our state and of providing transparency about foods marketed to the public.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2017
July 24, 2017
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