FDA: Don’t Help Big Dairy Squash Plant-Based Competition

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Plant-based dairy alternatives face pressure from the FDA

As the dairy industry flexes its lobbying muscle to urge the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to restrict plant-based companies from labeling their products “milk,” “cheese” and “yogurt,” it seems the federal agency is bowing to the pressure.

The FDA currently seeks public comments on this issue. Today, on National Milk Day, speak out to urge the FDA not to let Big Dairy squash the plant-based competition.

Big Dairy claims consumer confusion over plant-based products, but the industry’s desperate efforts are really about squashing competition from thriving makers of dairy-free products as cow’s milk sales curdle.

Just recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a class action suit against almond milk makers Blue Diamond, concluding that no “reasonable consumer” is misled by the company’s unambiguous labeling.

Even Danone, the world’s largest yogurt producer, has spoken out against changing plant-based labels. Danone North America’s Michael Neuwirth said, “Dairy and plant-based products are clearly labeled with nutrition facts so people know what’s in the products.”

As our investigations reveal time and again, cows endure a heartbreaking cycle of abuse in the dairy industry — and many consumers, increasingly aware of the cruelty and cholesterol in cow’s milk, are opting for plant-based alternatives that are kinder to animals and their health.

And nearly 10,000 people have joined us in urging the National Milk Producers Federation to clearly label its product “cow’s milk,” rather than attempting to change plant-based labels.

ADD YOUR VOICE: The FDA is accepting public comments through Jan. 28.
Submit your comment. Use our sample language below or write your own.

SAMPLE COMMENT: As a consumer of plant-based milk products, I respectfully ask the FDA not to restrict these products from using the terms “milk,” “cheese,” “yogurt,” “cultured yogurt” or other dairy food terms on the labels. Consumers are not confused by the content or nutritional profiles of these products. Terms like “almond milk” or “cashew yogurt” already make it abundantly clear that these are not products made with cow’s milk. Current labeling allows consumers like me to quickly differentiate between products and easily seek out plant-based dairy foods and beverages. New labeling regulations are unnecessary, and instead would create significant consumer confusion and inaccurate labeling information. I respectfully request that FDA refrain from making any change in its enforcement policy with regards to labeling of plant-based dairy products.

Then, take the next step: Sign and share our petition to help reach 10,000 signatures.

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