FDA could restrict 'milk' label to dairy products from animals

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the Trump administration will probably move to limit the use of the term “milk” to animal derived dairy products and restrict makers of plant-based beverages such as nondairy soy and almond drinks, according to published reports.

Gottlieb told an audience at a recent event that the FDA will soon” issue a guidance document that described changes to its standards of identity policies for marketing milk,” the reports said.

"You see the proliferation of products like soy milk and almond milk calling themselves milk, but if you look at our standard of identity, there is a reference somewhere in the standard of identity to a lactating animal, and you know an almond doesn't lactate, I will confess," Gottlieb stated. "And so the question becomes, have we been enforcing our own standard of identity? The answer is probably not."

Gottlieb noted the FDA would soon be issuing a guidance document describing the changes it is considering to the standards of identity regarding the marketing of milk, the reports added. They also said the FDA will ask for public comment before initiating any changes in the rules for milk products.  The process could take almost a year to complete, Gottlieb said.