Dairy labeling comment time ends Monday

Dairy groups are encouraging farmers and consumers to comment on the Food and Drug Administration’s draft guidance for dairy labeling before it’s too late.

Brody Stapel

Brody Stapel with Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative tells Brownfield it’s important for consumers to know what’s in their food. “I always encourage people to know what they’re eating. It doesn’t matter what it is. But, just to know what’s in your food, and I think it’s becoming something that’s closer and closer to the consumer. People want to know what they’re eating and they want to know that it’s good for them.”

Stapel says the draft guidance calls for voluntary nutrition information on non-dairy packages, but he expects most manufacturers won’t voluntarily list what’s in their products or the nutritional value.

The FDA’s draft guidance document is called Labeling of Plant-Based Milk Alternatives and Voluntary Nutrient Statements and would allow alternative beverages to continue using the term “milk” on their labels, even though the product has no milk or milk product.  Stapel says with new alternative foods coming out, truth in labeling has never been so important. “We’re not necessarily fighting just this battle, right? We’re setting this up for years to come and for future generations and we really need to be active in defending real food. Less we lose this battle, then the next ones become easier to lose.”

As Brownfield reported earlier this week, The beef sector is also calling for better labeling of imitations, as more cell-cultured proteins go to market. The FDA deadline for comments on the dairy labeling draft guidance is Monday, August 31st.  Comments can be submitted online at the FDA’s website, here.

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