The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has solicited public input on questions related to plant-based substitutes for dairy products such as almond or soy milk. The agency’s request for information (RFI) seeks responses on three points:

  • “How do you use plant-based products?”
  • “What is your understanding of dairy terms like milk, yogurt and cheese when they are used to label plant-based products?”
  • “Do you understand the nutritional characteristics of plant-based products? Do you know how they’re different from each other? Do you know how their nutritional qualities compare with dairy products?”

“The RFI opened today is an important step in our efforts to take a look at how we have been applying the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act with respect to food names and our existing standards of identity,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “The comments we receive will help inform the development of draft guidance to provide greater clarity on appropriate labeling of plant-based alternatives. As always, we’re carefully assessing products currently on the market to determine whether any have misleading labels that would prompt us to take action to ensure that consumers are not under the misconception that their plant-based beverage is a dairy product in disguise.”

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.