Lawmakers Raise Concerns about FDA Guidance for Plant-Based Beverages

A group of lawmakers tell the White House there’s “no reason” to start allowing regulation regarding plant-based beverages labeled as animal products. Senator Cory Booker, a Colorado Democrat, and Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, led the effort in a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget. The lawmakers say, “for decades, the FDA has declined to clarify standards for plant-based milks, even as other federal agencies have increasingly adopted plant-based milks and names into programs.” The letter highlighted a recent legal ruling that “found that the use of qualifying terms such as soy, almond or oat next to the term ‘milk’ mitigates against confusion regarding nutritional equivalency.” The letter also outlined that the “FDA has not previously asked producers to disclose other wide variations in nutritional components” – including among milks derived from different animals. However, label clarity has long-been a priority for U.S. dairy groups. The National Milk Producers Federation points out that the FDA’s own standards define milk as an animal product.

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