“Non-dairy” & “dairy-free” foods usually contain milk which is what all dairy is made from! The FDA does not have a regulation on the term “dairy-free” and the regulation they have for “non-dairy” allows for the presence of milk protein! The protein in milk is what causes the allergic reaction!
Milk is a top 8 allergen in the United States. 15 million people have food allergies. 6% of children have food allergies, that is 3 children out of every 50 and the numbers are on a huge rise with every new generation of children born! Food allergies are an epidemic sweeping our nation! Foods that are an allergen can be DEADLY to the child or adult that is allergic to it.
When my daughter at 1 year old was diagnosed with food allergies our world was turned upside down. When 6 months later she had an anaphylaxis reaction I knew we would be different forever. One of the most confusing things I encountered when we were first still learning is that foods that say “non-dairy” do not actually mean non-dairy! All dairy products are made from milk.
Even though our family has learned to avoid things labeled “non-dairy” and “dairy-free” and we have learned to read labels most people have not. I wouldn’t have if I didn’t have a daughter that’s life would be risked if I didn’t read labels. This incorrect labeling becomes a big issue because workers of any food related organization assume that “non-dairy” or “dairy-free” products are safe for people with milk allergies and that is a deadly misconception. The FDA could easily solve this problem by requiring foods that claim to be “non-dairy” and “dairy-free” actually be completely free of milk. If they don’t want to change their product they need to take the “non-dairy” or “dairy-free” label off.
This is something that the FDA should have fixed long ago and somehow it has slid through the cracks. Please help me get them to fix it by signing my petition.