Recently, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) petitioned the FDA in an attempt to redefine milk, as well as 17 other dairy products. The dairy industry wants to change the definition so that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners may be added to milk WITHOUT having to list them on the ingredient label. These artificial sweeteners are already included in flavored milk drinks, but they must be clearly stated on the label. Why does the dairy industry want this change? According to the fda.gov website, dairy groups want this change for the following reasons:
- The dairy industry proclaims that school-aged children are more likely to consume flavored milk than regular milk.
- The dairy industry says that the currently required flavored milk labels that bear nutrient claims such as “reduced calorie” are not attractive to children.
- The dairy industry is trying to convince people who buy flavored milk that the proposed amendments would promote improved eating practices and reduce childhood obesity.
- The dairy industry further states that updating the definition of milk would promote honesty by creating consistency in the names of flavored milk products.
Those against the dairy industry’s petition cite numerous studies about the effects of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners on children. In fact, a Washington Times article states that “children’s brains are four times more susceptible to damage from excitotoxins like aspartame than those of adults and react with ADD/ADHD type symptoms, impaired learning, depression, and nausea.” The article goes on to state that “people who are sensitive to aspartame can have life-threatening reactions to it.”
If you’re against aspartame and other chemical sweeteners being in your dairy products but not listed on the ingredient label, you should definitely let the FDA know. The agency is reviewing consumer comments until May 21, 2013. Here is the link to submit a formal comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/02/20/2013-03835/flavored-milk-petition-to-amend-the-standard-of-identity-for-milk-and-17-additional-dairy-products
Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,
P.S. Thank you to one of my blog subscribers for sharing a link with me about this issue!