- Debra Topham
Plant-based dairy food names & perceptions sought by FDA
Updating and understanding the names of plant-based dairy food alternatives continues FDA’s effort to modernize regulations. FDA is gathering information on what it could use to regulate the names “soy milk”, “almond ice cream”, or “vegan mozzarella cheese”.
FDA posted a request for comments, surveys and data related to how consumers view and use alternatives to cow’s milk and related products. The Federal Register announcement and accompanying press release demonstrate FDA’s concern about the nutrient differences between animal- and plant-based products.
The primary health concerns are based in potential nutrient deficiencies children may experience if dairy food alternatives are low or lacking key vitamins, minerals or essential amino acids. The FDA expressed concern that the USDA national database of food composition tables may be limited in characterizing the real world offerings of plant-based milks, yogurts and cheeses.
The FDA has 5 broad areas for information gathering. Consumer selection of dairy alternatives for “sustainability” and “animal husbandry” are not specifically called out. Rather, these concepts would fall under the broader umbrella of consumers choosing dairy alternatives for lifestyle reasons.
Federal Register text posted here
Comments accepted until 11/27/2018 for Docket No. FDA-2018-N-3522 https://www.regulations.gov