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Soy and oats? If you want, you call them milk...

The Food and Drug Administration changes the wording to vegetable drinks

No, it is by no means only mammals that produce milk. This was established by the Food and Drug Administration (Fda) of the United States of America, issuing guidelines which state that drinks made from soy, oats, almonds or other vegetables do not confuse consumers' ideas, in case referred to as "milk" on the label. No fraud, no deception, then. For years, dairy producers had lobbied the FDA to ban all producers of "veg" drinks from labeling "milk". Now, according to the new regulation established by the US government agency, the main constraint lies in always accompanying the noun "milk" with the vegetable source from which it is extracted: soy, millet, cashews, quinoa, etc.

The rules also require voluntary nutritional labels that specify where drinks have lower nutritional properties (e.g. calcium, magnesium or vitamin D) than milk. At the same time, labels indicating when plant-based beverages have higher levels would continue to be allowed. Fortified soymilk is the only plant-based food included in the dairy category of the US Dietary Guidelines precisely because of its nutrient levels. The new guidelines aim to provide consumers with clear nutritional information, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement. The draft rules do not apply to non-dairy products other than drinks, such as yoghurt.

The National Milk Producers Federation, an industry trade group, welcomed the request for additional nutritional information on beverage labels, but rejected the FDA's finding that plant-based beverages can be called milk because it would be a "common and usual name". For its part, the plant-based advocacy group Good Food Institute opposed the additional labeling, saying "the guide incorrectly cautions companies to make a direct comparison" with cow's milk, even though the nutrients key must already be listed.

Almond milk is the most popular variety in the United States, but oat milk is the fastest growing variety, reports the Associated Press. However, non-dairy sales remain lower than for real milk. According to NielsenIQ, sales of refrigerated cow's milk grew to $12.3 billion in volume in the 52 weeks ending Jan. 28, compared to $2.5 billion for nondairy milk. In the past, dairy state congresses have tried to pass bills that would require the FDA to enforce a federal standard that defines "milk" as the product of "the milking of one or more healthy cows".

Meanwhile, the FDA will accept comments on the draft guidelines through April 23.

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EFA News - European Food Agency