Expressing its support for the act, the National Milk Producers Federation says the legislation is another means toward a crucial end for consumers: the end of mislabeled non-dairy products as milk.
Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jim Risch (R-ID) and Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Mike Simpson (R-ID) introduced the bill, which requires the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action regarding plant-based imitators of milk, cheese, butter and other products.
The Federation claims companies producing plant-based milk, cheese and butter 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.
The NMPF said the Dairy Pride Act would protect the integrity of food standards by requiring the FDA to enforce labeling standards for dairy products. 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.”
The NMPF claims the FDA has failed to enforce existing food standards that specify products labeled as milk have to come from a dairy animal.
The NMPF, based in Arlington, Virginia, 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.