The National Milk Producers Federation voiced strong support for the DAIRY PRIDE Act today, calling it another means toward a crucial end for consumers: the end of mislabeled non-dairy products as “milks” in the marketplace.
The legislation, introduced by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jim Risch (R-ID) in the Senate and Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Mark Simpson (R-ID) in the House, further prods the FDA toward increasingly necessary action as plant-based imitators of milk, cheese, butter and other products brazenly flout FDA rules that restrict the use of dairy terms on non-dairy products. While NMPF continues to press the agency to strengthen its own enforcement, substantial support for dairy in Congress only underscores the urgency for the FDA to act, said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the NMPF.
Following NMPF’s submission of a citizen petition to FDA last week outlining a path forward as the agency considers more than 13,000 comments submitted to it on the proper use of dairy terms, the DAIRY PRIDE Act would protect the integrity of food standards by prompting FDA to enforce labeling requirements for dairy. The measure would require FDA to issue a guidance for nationwide enforcement of such requirements within 90 days and mandate that FDA report to Congress two years after enactment to hold the agency accountable.
“We hope that the FDA will soon do the right thing by updating and enforcing rules that aid consumers by providing clear, accurate labeling on what is, and what isn’t, milk, and we are ready to help the agency in any way we can,” Mulhern said. “This bipartisan, bicameral legislative effort demonstrates strong support within Congress for fixing this problem, and we commend these lawmakers for laying down this important marker.”
Key leaders in both the House and Senate have chastised the FDA for failing to enforce existing food standards that specify products labeled as “milk” have to come from a dairy animal. The legislation adds momentum to NMPF’s longstanding campaign to encourage the FDA to enforce its own regulations, which has gained steam in the past year through the FDA comment period, prompted by NMPF activism, and the NMPF’s new petition.
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. NMPF’s member cooperatives produce the majority of U.S. milk, making NMPF the voice of dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more, visit www.nmpf.org.