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IDFA Urges FDA To Take Informed, Transparent Approach to Use of Dairy Names in Labeling of Plant-Based Foods

Jan 30, 2019

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last fall issued a request for information on how consumers use plant-based foods and beverages, as well as how they understand dairy terms like “milk” or “cheese” when they are used to label products made from soy, peas or nuts. In comments submitted this week, IDFA included nearly 250 pages of existing literature and recent consumer research to help FDA make informed decisions.

“IDFA appreciates FDA’s efforts to support consumer choice and innovation in the marketplace, and we support FDA’s actions to ensure that the labeling of plant-based products is truthful and does not mislead or confuse consumers,” IDFA said in its comments.

IDFA provided FDA with publicly available surveys, published journal articles and other relevant data pertaining to eight of the 20 specific questions FDA asked about consumer use and understanding about both dairy and plant-based products.

IDFA also stressed that the issue of using dairy terms on the labels of plant-based foods and beverages is of great importance to the industry and urged the agency to conduct its review in a transparent and inclusive way.

“As FDA moves forward, IDFA urges FDA to outline the decision-making process it will undertake regarding appropriate labeling of plant-based alternatives,” IDFA said, and asked the agency to provide opportunities for comment on any tentative conclusions reached and proposed actions regarding dairy terms and plant-based foods and beverages.

“Public input is especially important to ensure any proposed policy changes or recommendations are implemented in a practical, cost-effective way,” IDFA concluded.

Read the comments here.

For more information, contact Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president of regulatory affairs, at cfrye@idfa.org.

 
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