Tag Archives milk

At a speaking engagement, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb reportedly expressed that the agency’s standards of identity for milk have not been enforced. According to the standard of identity, milk is “the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows,” a definition that does not include non-dairy beverages produced from almonds, soy, rice or coconuts that are labeled as milk. Admitting that “an almond doesn’t lactate,” Gottlieb reportedly indicated that FDA will begin collecting public comments before determining its approach to the issue.

The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a challenge to a bus poster sponsored by Viva, a vegan-advocacy group, that claimed the hormones in cow's milk have been "linked to cancer." Viva asserted that consumers interpret the words “linked to” as a phrase “commonly used to express an association between two factors when there was a potential or likely relationship but not an absolute causative relationship." The group submitted several research papers in support of the ad claim, but ASA was unconvinced by each study, citing unrelated or overly broad subject matters as well as the inclusion of self-reported data. ASA concluded that "the claim 'milk contains 35 hormones, including oestrogen … some of these are linked to cancer', as it would be understood by consumers to mean that due to the presence of hormones, drinking cow’s milk could increase a person’s risk of developing cancer, had not been substantiated and…

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted against the 2018 Farm Bill in a 213-198 vote. Dissenting voters apparently cited a number of issues, with some rejecting the bill's changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and others protesting the legislature's failure to enact unrelated immigration measures. Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R- La.) reportedly indicated that the House will vote on the bill again in late June 2018. Before the vote, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) introduced an amendment to the bill that would have prevented federal agencies from regulating the interstate traffic of unpasteurized milk sold for human consumption. The bill was rejected 331-79.

Ruling that the plaintiff’s claims are preempted by the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), a federal court in California has dismissed a putative class action alleging Danone North America's Horizon Organic milk is not organic because it contains DHA. Brown v. Danone N. Am. LLC, No. 17-7325 (N.D. Cal., entered May 1, 2018). Noting that the Ninth Circuit has not considered whether the OFPA preempts state law challenges that "call into question whether organic products were properly certified as organic,” the court sided with decisions from the Eighth and Second Circuits holding that such challenges are preempted. “The labels clearly state that the milk is 'organic' and that the milk contains DHA, and the labels bear the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification logo," the court found. "The USDA database publicly shows that Horizon Organic milk with DHA is currently certified organic by the USDA, and has been…

A Maryland dairy has filed a First Amendment lawsuit challenging a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation requiring skim milk without vitamins A and D added to be labeled “imitation." S. Mountain Creamery, LLC v. FDA, No. 18-0738 (M.D. Pa., filed April 4, 2018). According to the complaint, South Mountain Creamery cannot selling its “all-natural, additive-free, pasteurized skim milk” in Pennsylvania because of FDA regulations mandating that skim milk sold in interstate commerce must contain the added vitamins. The creamery asserts that the fat-soluble vitamins dissipate before skim milk reaches the consumer, and FDA’s “own official materials discuss this issue.” According to the complaint, “The effect of the relevant regulations and laws is that any product consisting entirely of skim milk can never be labeled as ‘skim milk’ . . . [it] must be labeled as ‘imitation.’” The dairy alleges that the FDA definition misleads and confuses the public and that…

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) has sent a letter asking the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the regulatory framework for cell-cultured food products. According to the letter, such food products include lab-grown meat and “animal-free” milk that can be produced from fermented yeast and proteins in cow’s milk. DeLauro requested a “comprehensive review” of the unique challenges in safety oversight, the regulations and labeling requirements that may already exist, and a determination on whether federal agencies have begun preparing for the product’s commercialization. “While not yet commercially available, the potential introduction of this new type of product into the nation’s food supply and economy raises many important questions,” DeLauro said in the letter. “To date, it remains unclear exactly how cell-cultured food products should be regulated . . . More information is needed for Congress to address this emerging sector in the United States and to ensure it…

Iowa State University researchers have reportedly developed an inexpensive method to test whether milk was produced by grass-fed cows. Fluorescence spectroscopy, which measures light to identify the amount of chlorophyll metabolized by cows, may help regulators enforce organic milk standards requiring cows to eat a minimum of 30 percent foraged grass. The researchers reportedly found that cows fed grass only had about three times as many chlorophyll metabolites as grain- and silage-fed cows, while the organic milk samples they tested had about twice as many chlorophyll metabolites as the grain- and silage-fed cows.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition has notified the Good Food Institute (GFI) that the agency has been unable to reach a decision on the advocacy group's March 2017 petition requesting recognition for commonly used—if technically inaccurate, per FDA definitions—food names such as "almond milk," "soymilk," "almond butter" and "cashew butter." The letter informs GFI that the agency was "not able to reach a decision on your petition within the first 180 days of its receipt, nor as of the date of this letter, because of other agency competing priorities."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the availability of industry guidance titled, “Ultrafiltered Milk in the Production of Standardized Cheese and Related Cheese Products: Guidance for Industry.” The guidance advises manufacturers that FDA intends to exercise enforcement in the use of fluid ultrafiltered milk in cheese products.   Issue 645

As plant-based beverages appear on more store shelves, the definition of “milk” has become the center of a dispute involving legislatures, regulators, litigators and industry groups. Shook Partners Katie Gates Calderon and Lindsey Heinz, with Associate Elizabeth Fessler, explain the debate in “Dairy Vs. Plant-Based ‘Milks’: A Regulatory Standoff." While Canada and the EU have both ruled that plant-based products cannot be called “milk,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to take determinative action to ensure that products using "milk" contain cow milk, though it does define the term as “obtained by the milking of one or more healthy cows." Although FDA has warned plant-based beverage manufacturers, the agency has not taken enforcement action against such products and has never ruled on a 1997 petition to allow the use of the term “soymilk.” Moreover, legislation has been introduced in both houses of Congress (H.R. 778; S.130) that…

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