Big Dairy: Got Confusion? Call it “Cow Milk”
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Sales of almond, soy, coconut, and other plant-based milks are soaring, on track to reach $20 billion by 2020. Meanwhile, consumer demand for dairy is tanking as Americans become aware of just how cruel the dairy industry is to cows, how it has cheated consumers, and the havoc that dairy milk can wreak on our bodies (got lactose intolerance?).
As each generation consumes less milk than the one before it, Big Dairy is panicking. The industry is left crying over spilled milk—literally, dumping millions of gallons of unwanted milk down the drain.
Big Dairy is desperate, and it’s turning to the FDA to help squash the rise of plant-based milks. In 2010, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) urged the federal government to block the use of words like “milk” and “cheese” on the labels of dairy-free products. Six years later, that hasn’t worked, so the NMPF is back at it, this time by whipping up members of Congress to write to the Food and Drug Administration about how such labeling is “misleading and illegal.”
Truly misleading, however, are current dairy product labels, which do not state what’s really inside: bovine mammary secretions, produced by cows and comprising just the right mix of proteins and hormones for their calves to grow hundreds of pounds in mere months.
If it is in NMPF’s own interest in ensuring that labels “clearly identify the true nature of the food,” as noted in its 2010 petition, why not clearly identify dairy as “cow milk?” (*this language was updated from an earlier version).
The NMPF claims that it’s worried about confusing consumers. That’s exactly why the NMPF should label its own products as “cow milk,” “cow cheese,” and “cow ice cream.” That way, consumers will understand what they're really buying.
After all, cow milk is produced by cows (for cows and their calves), so why not just say it?!
Many consumers are no longer swallowing the industry’s lies about happy cows and healthy bones. More and more people are choosing nutritious and delicious plant-based milks over cruelty- and cholesterol-filled cow milk. Join us in calling on the NMPF to make it easier on shoppers to know the “true nature of the food” they’re buying by clearly labeling its products as Cow Milk.
- President & Chief Executive Officer, National Milk Producers Federation
- Director of Dairy Foods & Nutrition, National Milk Producers Federation
Soy, almond, and other delicious plant-based milks are on the rise as conscientious consumers like me are are increasingly choosing these delicious and healthy options over the cholesterol and animal cruelty behind cow milk.
In the National Milk Producers Federation’s own 2010 petition to the FDA, requesting that soy and other plant-based milks not be labeled “milk,” it wrote that labels should "clearly identify the true nature of the food."
That’s exactly why I am urging the National Milk Producers Federation to label its own products as “cow milk,” “cow cheese,” “cow ice cream,” and so on. That way, your consumers will know the “true nature of the food” they’re purchasing.
While plant-based milks are clearly labeled “soy milk,” “almond milk,” and so on, cow milk typically has no such obvious labeling to guide consumers, who might be unaware of the contents of their cartons.
Delicious and nutritious non-dairy milks are here to stay, joining or replacing dairy products in shopping carts left and right. There’s no use crying over spilled milk—but you can label your products responsibly like the producers of soy and other plant-based milks have done. Simply label your products as what they are: milk produced by cows.
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