Standards of Identity

Dairy is one of the most highly regulated industries in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration oversees more than 280 identity standards covering 20 categories of food, but dairy products alone account for one-third of them. If manufacturers use a new process or ingredient not specified in the standards, the product could be considered misbranded or adulterated. That’s why it’s critical for the standards to keep pace with food science discoveries, new technology and – most important – current consumer demands. Unfortunately, many food standards are lagging behind the market curve, hindering innovation and stifling industry growth.  

Our Position

IDFA continues to call for FDA to modernize outdated dairy standards and to ask Congress for funding that would help the agency speed the process.

10 Years and Counting

IDFA’s work on the standards of identity for yogurt captures the urgent need for speed. For the past decade, IDFA has pushed for FDA to finalize a proposed rule, released in 2009, to revise the yogurt standards, but it hasn’t reached the finish line yet. The existing standards don’t allow new production methods and technologies for ingredients or recognize that consumers want an expanding array of healthier products.

IDFA is seeking regulatory updates and discretion for several other standards as well. Read more. (Link to Standards Issues page)


The appropriations bills for FY2020 give FDA $2 million to ramp up modernization efforts, building on the $2 million the agency received for updates in FY2019.

For more information, contact Donald Grady, IDFA director, legislative affairs, at

Staff Contact

Donald Grady

Director, Legislative Affairs