On February 22nd, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft guidance on the appropriate labeling of plant-based products sold as alternatives to milk. These alternatives include “soy milk”, “almond milk”, and “coconut milk”, which are commonly seen by consumers in stores. This recommendation will help provide the food industry with clear labeling, allowing consumers the information to make informed purchasing decisions. These plant-based milk alternatives or PBMA, has a different nutrient composition than milk and this guidance will aid consumers in making those dietary choices.
There is an open comment period until April 24, 2023, to allow people to comment on the proposed guidance. This allows consumers and dairy industry members to have their comments considered before the final guidance is written. If you want to submit a comment, you can do so here.
The dairy industry and many of the agricultural industries have been pushing for the proposed labeling due to concerns about transparency. The FDA also conducted focus groups and learned that while many Americans understand there is a difference between plant-based milk and animal milk, there is a lack of understanding about the nutritional differences. Please check the resources below if you have questions or want more information about the guidance.