FDA Allows Manufacturers of Plant-Based Beverages to Use the Term “Milk”

Producers of plant-based, non-dairy milk scored a victory when the Food and Drug Administration issued recommendations indicating that products such as almond, oat, and soy alternatives can be termed milk.

The agency found that plant-based milks were not advertised as dairy products to consumers. According to the guidance, new regulations will require plant-based milk manufacturers to explicitly label the source plant of the beverage, such as “soy milk” or “oat milk.”

In addition, the proposed standards stipulate that packaging must have extra nutritional labels informing consumers when a product has a lesser nutritional value than dairy milk.

Image source: Cheddar News

The National Milk Producers Federation commended the FDA’s additional labeling recommendations.

“By acknowledging both the utter lack of nutritional standards prevalent in plant-based beverages and the confusion over a nutritional value that has prevailed in the marketplace due to the unlawful use of dairy terms, FDA’s proposed guidance today will provide consumers with the transparency they desperately need to make informed decisions,” the agency wrote.

Despite the acceptance of the nutritional requirements, the NMPF continued to accuse the FDA of breaking its “own identification rules” by allowing plant-based beverages to continue to be labeled as milk.