Tag Archives milk

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the results of a study examining 52 dark chocolate products, determining that four of the products had potentially hazardous levels of milk allergens. "The agency found the 12 samples from the four products to have milk allergen levels ranging from 600 ppm to 3,100 ppm," the announcement states. "The agency determined that, at these levels, the four products held the potential to cause severe reactions in consumers with milk allergy. The FDA took action as warranted to address each of these positives."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an update for consumers on its 2018 study examining milk allergies and dark chocolate. "U.S. law requires manufacturers to label food products that are major allergens, as well as food products that contain major allergenic ingredients or proteins," the update notes. "Allergens contained in a food product but not named on the label are a leading cause of FDA requests for food recalls, and undeclared milk is the most frequently cited allergen. Chocolates are one of the most common sources of undeclared milk associated with consumer reactions." FDA advised consumers to interpret "may contain" disclosures as "likely to contain," even if the package is also labeled as dairy-free or vegan. "Unfortunately, you can’t always tell if dark chocolate contains milk by reading the ingredients list. FDA researchers found that of 94 dark chocolate bars tested, only six listed milk as an…

A Public Health Nutrition study has purportedly found that "toddler milks," or "sugar-sweetened milk-based drinks for toddlers," are a growing market but are advertised as providing unsubstantiated benefits. Choi et al., "US toddler milk sales and associations with marketing practices," Public Health Nutrition, February 4, 2020. The researchers reportedly found that 45% of preschoolers (24 to 47.9 months) and 31% of young toddlers (12 to 23.9 months) consume sugar-sweetened beverages each day. "[T]oddler milk packages contain numerous nutrition-related and child development claims, such as ‘DHA and iron to help support brain development’ and ‘probiotics to help support digestive health’, which have not been supported by scientific research," the researchers assert. "These claims may mislead caregivers to believe that toddler milk provides benefits for their child’s nutrition and development." The researchers called for countries "to enact Code provisions" that would limit or prohibit the promotion of breast milk substitutes, including toddler…

Following a vote in the Virginia House Agriculture Subcommittee, the state's House of Delegates will reportedly consider a bill that would limit the use of "milk" to describe the "lacteal secretion" from specific animals, including cows, sheep, goats, yaks, reindeer, water buffalo, horses and donkeys. During the subcommittee discussion, one delegate reportedly suggested adding "dairy" instead of removing "milk" because the term and associated words are used regularly for products that are not milk substitutes, such as "milk of magnesia" or "body butter." If enacted, the bill would not take effect until 11 states have passed similar legislation.

A plaintiff has filed a putative class action alleging Tillamook County Creamery Association misleadingly markets its products as sourced from cows in Tillamook County. Bohr v. Tillamook Cty. Creamery Ass'n, No. 19-36208 (Ore. Cir. Ct., Multnomah Cty., filed August 19, 2019). The complaint alleges that consumers "increasingly seek out and are willing to pay more for products that they perceive as being locally and ethically sourced—better for the environment, more humane." Tillamook allegedly sought to capitalize on this consumer preference by advertising its products as "made with four ingredients, patience, and old-fashioned farmer values in Tillamook, Oregon," despite producing its cheese and ice cream with ingredients obtained from "the largest and most industrialized dairy factory farm in the country," a "complex of cement-floored production facilities and barren dirt feedlots, where cows are continuously confined, milked by robotic carousels, and afflicted with painful udder infections." The complaint cites a "recent consumer…

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) has submitted a citizen petition urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to "[e]nforce existing 'imitation' labeling requirements against nutritionally inferior non-dairy substitutes for standardized dairy foods that are named and positioned as forms of 'milk,' 'yogurt,' 'cheese,' 'ice cream,' or 'butter,' yet fail to provide the 'imitation' disclosure statement that is required." The petition's introductory letter argues that its recommended actions "are necessary to ensure that consumers are adequately informed concerning the material differences between standardized dairy foods (e.g., milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, butter) and the wide variety of non-dairy substitutes that are available in the marketplace which are identified through the misappropriation of terms that have been defined by standards of identity to identify standardized foods that meet specified compositional, nutritional, or functional requirements." The debate over dairy and non-dairy substitute labeling extends to Canada, where a creamery has reportedly…

A group of members of Congress, led by Reps. John Joyce (R-Pa.) and Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), have urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce "regulations defining what may be labeled a dairy product, to combat the proliferation of imitation and substitute dairy products in the marketplace that undermine FDA regulations by using standardized dairy terms on non-dairy products." "Dairy product terms convey specific information for consumers on nutritional content and ingredient performance. Put simply, imitations and substitutes do not meet these standards, nor do they have any standardized requirements for nutritional content, composition, and processing, unlike the dairy products they seek to imitate. Most importantly, they are not sourced from cows or other lactating mammals as required by the standards we referred to up above," the letter asserts. "Giving this ongoing problem, we are pleased that FDA now plans to act. We urge you to make crystal…

The National Advertising Division (NAD) has referred The a2 Milk Company's claims that its products are "easier on digestion" to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The National Milk Producers Federation challenged the milk marketing, asserting "errors in study design, methodology, and population selection" as well as arguing that the results of the company's study are "clinically insignificant." The a2 Milk Company responded that the organization "selectively presents incomplete and outdated research and observations made without the benefit of recent research" but declined to participate further in the system of self-regulation.

A survey of 1,000 participants conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation has purportedly found that between 24 and 28 percent of respondents either believed or did not know whether plant-based milks contained cow's milk. The organization reported that between seven and nine percent of respondents identified rice, cashew, almond, soy and coconut milk as containing cow's milk, while between 16 and 20 percent of respondents answered that they did not know whether the products contains cow's milk. The survey also asked about the participants' understanding of almond butter and peanut butter; eight percent answered that they believed almond butter contains cow's milk, while 15 percent believed that peanut butter contains the ingredient.

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…

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