The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) falsely claimed last week that language included in the recently signed spending bill was a victory for dairy companies. NMPF distributed a press release entitled “Congressional Spending Bill Includes Dairy Pride Act Language in Victory for Milk Labeling Standards” that claimed Congress had approved language that would bar plant-based food companies from using terms such as “milk,” “cheese,” and “yogurt.” The language to which NMPF was referring was contained in an unenforceable subsection of the bill that was drafted in 2017 that referred to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developing standards of identity for dairy terms. “Report language is not binding—but even if this were enforceable, it doesn’t do anything,” Jessica Almy, Director of Policy at food advocacy firm The Good Food Institute, said. “FDA is directed to develop standards of identity for dairy terms? They did that decades ago. Fully implemented, this provision will have no effect at all.” The Dairy Pride Act was introduced in 2016 by a group of congressmen from dairy-producing states in an effort to eliminate competition from plant-based food companies. “The Dairy Pride Act is languishing in committee, and consumers are voting with their dollars by increasingly buying more plant-based milk and less cow’s milk,” Almy said. “Yet, the NMPF is using the passage of the omnibus spending bill to crow about report language from last summer.”
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