Monday, March 11, 2013

"The less you know the better," say Dairy Industry Groups

"... milk flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners should be labeled as milk without further claims so that consumers can 'more easily identify its overall nutritional value.'"

This quote comes from a petition to the Food and Drug Administration by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) in which they are proposing that artificial chemical sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose be included in the definition of "milk" so that they would no longer have to be listed as an ingredient on the nutritional labels. That's right. They are arguing that you and I would be able to make better food and nutritional choices for ourselves if the actual ingredients in the food we eat were kept hidden from us. The less consumers know, according to the dairy industry, the better off they will be.

If granted, the industry would have permission to add artificial sweetening agents not only to milk, but to 17 different dairy products including yogurt, cream, sour cream, eggnog and whipping cream. Legally, the very definition of "milk" would include the additives and so eliminate the requirement to inform consumers of their presence.

There is quite a public debate going on regarding the safety of these additives, as well as the suitability of milk and milk products themselves. Regardless of which side you take in these disputes, how can any reasonable person agree that withholding information from consumers helps them to make better choices?

The public comment period on this petition is open until May 31, 2013. If you do not agree that less is more when it comes to nutritional information on the foods you feed yourself and your family, this would be a good time to make your feelings known. You can provide your comments here, and you can review the content of the actual petition on that same page.

Here is a summary and editorialized report on the petition from

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