Flavored Milk; Petition to Amend the Standard of Identity for Milk and 17 Additional Dairy Products

Don’t take my word for it, go to the the FDA site and read the petition which says (in part):

IDFA and NMPF request their proposed amendments to the milk standard of identity to allow optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk (e.g., chocolate flavoring added to milk) to be sweetened with any safe and suitable sweetener—including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame. IDFA and NMPF state that the proposed amendments would promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity by providing for lower-calorie flavored milk products. They state that lower-calorie flavored milk would particularly benefit school children who, according to IDFA and NMPF, are more inclined to drink flavored milk than unflavored milk at school. As further support for the petition, IDFA and NMPF state that the proposed amendments would assist in meeting several initiatives aimed at improving the nutrition and health profile of food served in the nation’s schools. Those initiatives include state-level programs designed to limit the quantity of sugar served to children during the school day. Finally, IDFA and NMPF argue that the proposed amendments to the milk standard of identity would promote honesty and fair dealing in the marketplace and are therefore appropriate under section 401 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 341).

Even though the Dairy industry reported revenue of $74 Billon (a 7.1% increase) last year, they are complaining loudly that they have a problem.. People are drinking less milk. Worse, kids are even drinking water, diet soda and sports drinks instead of chocolate milk!

Never fear, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have developed an ingenious two prong strategy to get kids to keep drinking milk – particularly chocolate milk:

  • Swap the sugar that is currently added to milk with a zero-calorie sweetener such as aspartame (or other options such as plant-based stevia).
  • Ask the FDA to change the standard for what qualifies as milk

Current FDA rules state that if you add an artificial sweetener to milk it is no longer technically milk.  So in the interest of public health (better nutrition, reducing the amount of sugar children eat each day and reducing childhood obesity) the industry is asking the FDA to change the definition of milk. Under the new rules artificially sweetened milk would still be labeled milk. And the producers won’t have to call attention to fact that it is either reduced calorie or artificially sweetened.

We all know that “Milk does a body good”. Except that it really doesn’t  If you need a memory refresher on why it doesn’t, check out A McDougall Moment on Milk.

And then there is Aspartame. It doesn’t do any body good! And yet the FDA still permits it use in thousands of food products. You have to wonder why when you consider that Aspartame is an excitotoxin with serious long term effects on the human body and psyche. Children are the extremely vulnerable to this poison. And yet it is approved!  Here is a list of side-effects for aspartame that have been reported to the FDA:

Abdominal Pain
Anxiety attacks
Asthmatic Reactions
Bloating, Edema (Fluid Retention)
Blood Sugar Control Problems
Breathing difficulties
Burning eyes or throat
Burning Urination
Chest Pains
Excessive Thirst or Hunger
Flushing of face
Hair Loss (Baldness) or Thinning of Hair
Headaches/Migraines dizziness
Heart palpitations
Hives (Urticaria)
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Inability to concentrate
Joint Pains
Marked Personality Changes
Memory loss
Migraines and Severe Headaches
Muscle spasms
Nausea or Vomiting
Numbness or Tingling of Extremities
Panic Attacks
Seizures and Convulsions
Slurring of Speech
Vision Loss
Weight gain

BTW, the dairy industry has agreed to put the ingredients in the fine print label on the back of the product. Just not on the front.  And milk is not the only thing they want to change – this petition includes modifying a total of seventeen dairy products including yogurt, cream, sour cream and dried milk products.

This proposal is being reviewed by the FDA and they are asking for public comments. Please take a minute to add your voice in protest by signing the Sum of Us petition to stop this madness.

About Genene Cote

Genene Coté -- Nutrition Advocate, Counselor and Coach who is also a Whole Food Plant Based Eater (vegetarian/vegan), cook and gardener.
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