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Senators Again Urge Enforcement of Dairy Standards of Identity
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
  • On September 12, 2023, a group Senators, including proponents of the previously introduced Dairy Pride Actwrote to FDA, again urging the agency to enforce the standards of identity (SOI) for dairy products, which define milk (and related products) as from a cow (although notably do not mention milk from other animal sources, such as goats). See e.g., 21 CFR 131.110. The letter also warns FDA of a “new, additional perpetrator – Cell-based dairy imitation products,” which the Senators alleged were also in violation of FDA’s SOIs and frequently nutritionally inferior.
  • FDA has not yet issued any guidance on the labeling of cell-based dairy products (i.e., dairy products grown from mammary cells), although USDA recently approved labels for cell-grown meat which will use the term “cell-cultivated.”
  • Based on FDA’s draft guidance, Labeling of Plant-Based Milk Alternatives and Voluntary Nutrient Statements, there appears to be no appetite in the agency for banning the use of the term “milk” in the names of products that are not from cows. Indeed, several courts have found that such attempts by states were unconstitutional. However, the draft guidance recommends that plant-based milk alternatives using the term “milk” disclose nutritional differences from milk.
  • We will continue to monitor and report on development in the labeling of plant and cell-based alternative meat and dairy products.
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