Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin is asking President Donald Trump to help dairy farmers by enforcing the definition of milk to only mean what comes out of a cow or goat.
Allowing businesses to sell plant-based drinks as milk “is unfair to dairy farmers” who sell real milk, Baldwin argues in a letter to the president sent Tuesday.
“Products made from nuts, seeds, plants and algae do not provide the same nutritional profile as the dairy products they imitate, and they should not be able to use dairy’s good name for their own profit,” Baldwin says in the letter.
“I would encourage your administration to enforce laws on the book that allow the FDA to crack down on the mislabeling of non-dairy products with dairy terms including ‘milk,’ ‘ yogurt,’ and ‘cheese,’ Baldwin said.
Baldwin, who represents the dairy-rich state of Wisconsin, recently introduced legislation to require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prohibit marketing non-dairy products as milk.
The Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, milk, and cheese to Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Every day, (DAIRY PRIDE) Act has support from several dairy and farm advocacy groups across the country. (RELATED: New Law Would Put An End To Almond, Soy And Algae ‘Milk’)
Milk and cream are already defined as “the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more hooved mammals,” but the FDA does not prevent non-dairy products from being labeled and sold as milk.
Dairy farmers have had a tough couple years, in part due to decreasing demand for milk in America, and declining milk prices worldwide, and many farms have had to kill off their cows or close entirely.
The Department of Agriculture, at the request of Congress and a coalition of dairy advocates, gave the industry a bailout of sorts in the form of a $20 million purchase of surplus cheese. (RELATED: US Gov’t Buying Enough Cheddar For 67 MILLION Grilled Cheese Sandwiches)
Trump has not yet nominated a commissioner to lead the FDA.
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