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Simpson Pushes for Crackdown on Dairy Imitators

Simpson Pushes for Crackdown on Dairy Imitators  

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson this week lead 36 of his House colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf and Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young raising concerns with the continued lack of enforcement of dairy standards of identity, a cause Congressman Simpson has championed for years.

“Idaho ranks third in the nation for dairy production, which contributes significantly to the state economy. As the proud co-chair of the Congressional Dairy Caucus, I have been sounding the alarm to the FDA for accurate labeling in the dairy industry for years. Milk comes from a cow – not an almond or coconut or any other fruit or vegetable,” said Simpson. “I am fully committed to supporting the dairy producers of our state and providing honest labelling for Idahoan consumers, which is why I am also an original cosponsor of The Dairy Pride Act, legislation that requires the FDA to take enforcement action against manufacturers labeling non-dairy products as milk.”

The letter notes that standards of identity serve to protect consumers by promoting transparency, integrity, and fairness in the marketplace. They also support a common understanding of what is in a product and its nutrient content. Enforcement of these legal standards is crucial for consumers to make informed and meaningful decisions about the foods they purchase.

“The nutritional value and health benefits of non-dairy products is simply not equivalent to actual dairy products,” said Simpson. “Dairy imitators’ use of those terms is confusing and potentially harmful to consumers, and it needs to stop.”

The letter details concerns about the health implications of the FDA’s failure to enforce their own dairy labelling standards as plant-based dairy alternatives rise in popularity for American consumers.  It urges FDA Commissioner Califf and OMB Director Young to begin real enforcement of dairy standards of identity with forthcoming FDA guidance.

The full letter and list of signers may be found here.