The National Milk Producer’s Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association has submitted a petition to the FDA to allow for the addition of sweeteners as a flavoring ingredient for milk and 17 other dairy products. The catch? They want to remove notices on the front of the carton that the milk is artificially sweetened or reduced calorie. In other words, they want to put controversial products such as Aspartame into milk without labeling it as such – you’ll have to read the fine print on the nutritional label.
The IDFA and NMPF claim the proposed amendments would “promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity by providing for lower-calorie flavored milk products” since many children are more inclined to drink flavored milk products than unflavored milk.
…If the standard of identity for milk is amended as requested by petitioners, milk manufacturers could use non-nutritive sweeteners in flavored milk without a nutrient content claim in its labeling.
…The petition states that flavored milk labels that bear nutrient content claims such as “reduced calorie” are unattractive to children.
Instead, they want to lie about it – they can make milk nice and sweet like soft drinks! Our kids will drink it, the Dairy Foods Association will sell a lot more, and due to the increased consumption by children, school lunch programs will appear to be healthier and overall meals will contain less calories, therefor making it easier to meet government school lunch requirements. It’s a win win!
Accordingly, the petitioners state that milk flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners should be labeled as milk without further claims so that consumers can “more easily identify its overall nutritional value.”
Cutting through the gobbledy gook, consumers are so darn confused by all of these labels, we’ll just take all those extra words off of the cartons.
More from the Office of the Federal Register –
…IDFA and NMPF argue that nutrient content claims such as “reduced calorie” are not attractive to children, and maintain that consumers can more easily identify the overall nutritional value of milk products that are flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners if the labels do not include such claims. Further, the petitioners assert that consumers do not recognize milk—including flavored milk—as necessarily containing sugar. Accordingly, the petitioners state that milk flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners should be labeled as milk without further claims so that consumers can “more easily identify its overall nutritional value.”
Other dairy products which will be affected are “acidified milk, cultured milk, sweetened condensed milk, nonfat dairy milk, nonfat fortified dry milk, evaporated milk, dry cream, heavy cream, light cream, sour cream, light whipping cream, eggnog, half-and-half, yoghurt, low fat yogurt, and nonfat yogurt”.
It’s a slippery slope, and if this bill passes, we’ve just added grease to the skids. It is quietly being pushed through – there are only 43 days left for public comments. You can read all of the information from the Office of the Federal Register and comment on the proposed changes here.