WASHINGTON – A group of senators introduced bipartisan legislation taking aim at non-dairy products that use dairy names.
The bill – called the Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, milk and cheese to Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everyday (DAIRY PRIDE) Act of 2023 – was introduced by Sens. Mike Rounds (R-SD), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.).
Referencing the recent US Food and Drug Administration draft guidance that recommended nutrient statements on plant-based milk alternatives, the group described the draft guidance as “ill-advised,” because plant-based products can still use dairy terms.
“Dairy farmers work tirelessly to provide high-quality, nutrition-rich products, and they should not have to compete with misleading labels on products that do not even contain dairy,” Rounds said. “Further, consumers deserve to know exactly what product they are buying at the grocery store. The FDA’s recently announced draft guidance is both deceptive and harmful. I am pleased to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect producers and consumers.”
Per its authors, the DAIRY PRIDE Act would require the FDA to issue guidance for nationwide enforcement of mislabeled alternative dairy products within 90 days and require the FDA to report to Congress two years after enactment.
“Wisconsin’s dairy farmers produce second-to-none products with the highest nutritional value and imitation products have gotten away with using dairy’s good name without meeting those standards,” Baldwin said. “The Biden Administration’s guidance that allows non-dairy products to use dairy names is just wrong, and I’m proud to take a stand for Wisconsin farmers and the quality products they make. Our bipartisan DAIRY PRIDE Act will protect our dairy farmers and ensure consumers know the nutritional value of what they are purchasing.”
The legislation also is co-sponsored by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Angus King (I-Maine), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).