According to Politico, on July 17, the head of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) said that the Trump administration will move to crack down on the use of the term “milk” for nondairy products like soy and almond beverages.
The agency will soon issue a guidance document outlining changes to its so-called standards of identity policies for marketing milk, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD said at the Politico Pro Summit.
“An almond doesn’t lactate, I will confess,” Gottlieb said, referring to the fact that the agency’s current standards for milk reference products from lactating animals.
The move would be a major boon for dairy groups, which have been struggling amid dropping prices and global oversupply. The industry has petitioned FDA to enforce marketing standards for milk, but the agency has not previously addressed the issue.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) introduced a bill in early 2017 that would ban the use of the term “milk” in nondairy products, but legislative action on that front has gained little traction.
Gottlieb said FDA plans to soon start gathering public comment before taking next steps in redefining the rules for milk products.
“This is going to take time,” he said. “It’s not going to take two years, but it probably takes something close to a year to get to go through that process.”