NMPF Letter Warns FDA: Don’t Repeat Plant-Based Mistakes with Lab-Produced Fake ‘Milk’

Dan Dairy, Marketing, National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), USDA-FDA

Courtesy NMPF

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noting they must end dairy product mislabeling by manufacturers of synthetic, cell-based “dairy” ingredients that are in violation of federal dairy Standards of Identity. The letter said this is to prevent a repeat of the plant-based labeling fiasco that’s created confusion among consumers and regulatory headaches at the agency.

In the letter, NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern said, “The product, Bored Cow, takes water and adds what we believe to be one unidentified, lab-engineered ‘whey protein’ along with a highly processed concoction of food additives, preservatives, oil, sugar and several added vitamins, and claims to have created ‘animal-free dairy milk.’ It is baseless, preposterous and absurd to call the resulting product ‘milk.’” He said, “In the interest of public health, the misleading labeling charade must end before it gets out of hand. FDA must act, and must do so now.”


NMPF, which has repeatedly called on FDA to enforce its identity standards for milk as plant-based fakes have proliferated, has been warning the agency that lab-based milk imposters would be next on the horizon without agency action. Even as the agency is wrestling with draft guidance that finally acknowledges consumers’ core concern over plant-based beverages, their false positioning as dairy equivalents in the face of glaring nutritional inferiority, lab-based imitators are following the plant-based playbook and plastering “milk” and other standardized dairy terms on products that in composition bear little resemblance to true dairy.

A copy of NMPF’s full letter regarding Bored Cow, a brand offered by New York City-based Tomorrow Farms, is here.

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