US Dairy Asks FDA To Change Definition of Milk to Include Sweetners ( i.e. Aspartame)

Now you can argue all you want whether or not its a good idea or that its beneficial to add sweeteners of any kind, natural or artificial to milk but what is undeniable is that the US Dairy is trying to do this in a way that allows them to add any sweetener to milk and 17 other dairy products and do so without the consumer knowing it. How? By changing the definition of MILK (along with 17 other dairy products) a dairy producer can then add a sweetener like aspartame to the milk and would not be required to list on the label or anywhere else that the milk contained said aspartame or any other sweetener.

There’s no logical reason for doing this other then so that it can be done secretively. Now some will argue and say “How is this secretive when the FDA is policing announcing that they are seeking feedback on the request”. While there may be an announcement for the feedback of this change it still does not change the fact that an industry is seeking to add something to a product in a way that does not require them to let the buyer know that said additive is in the product. Making an annoucnement on a website that the FDA is accepting feedback is far from being open. The government has to accept public feedback on this kind of change and thankfully watchdogs keep an eye on these sites so that when something like this happens we wil hear about it since its unlkkely the mainstream media (TV & Radio) will report it.


Link to Federal Register: https://www.federalregister.gov/art...ity-for-milk-and-17-additional-dairy-products
Huffington Post Article about this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/26/aspartame-milk_n_2764729.html?utm_hp_ref=business


A Link At Courthouse News where Dairy Lobby argues that adding aspartame to the milk would be beneficial. If that’s true then why not just add it and put it on the label as oppose to trying to change the definition of mil so it can include the sweetener without listing it on the label? : http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/02/21/55075.htm
 

solrey

Senior Member.
This came up yesterday and I took the novel approach of actually reading the proposal. First and foremost is that nobody is trying to change the definition of milk or add any hidden ingredients.

Sweeteners, including artificial (non-nutritive) like aspartame are already approved ingredients used in flavored milk products like chocolate milk, strawberry yogurt, etc. Current regulations require that any milk product that contains non-nutritive sweeteners, like aspartame, must include words like "reduced calorie", or something to that effect, on the label. The only thing the industry groups are asking for is to remove that labeling requirement, and just like all ingredients it still must be included in the list of ingredients that is required for all packaged food products.

Therefore, while the milk standard of identity in § 131.110 only provides for the use of “nutritive sweetener” in an optional characterizing flavor, milk may contain a characterizing flavor that is sweetened with a non-nutritive sweetener if the food's label bears a nutrient content claim (e.g., “reduced calorie”) and the non-nutritive sweetener is used to add sweetness to the product so that it is not inferior in its sweetness property compared to its standardized counterpart. However, IDFA and NMPF argue that nutrient content claims such as “reduced calorie” are not attractive to children, and maintain that consumers can more easily identify the overall nutritional value of milk products that are flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners if the labels do not include such claims. Further, the petitioners assert that consumers do not recognize milk—including flavored milk—as necessarily containing sugar. Accordingly, the petitioners state that milk flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners should be labeled as milk without further claims so that consumers can “more easily identify its overall nutritional value.”

Whether you agree with the proposal or not, the fact is the only thing they're asking is to drop the requirement to add words like "reduced calorie" or "lite" to the label of artificially sweetened milk products. It's the same change that's already been implemented for artificially sweetened ice cream so those products are not required to include qualifying words to that effect on the label.

The petition notes that ice cream is permitted to contain either a nutritive or non-nutritive sweetener without the label bearing a nutrient content claim or otherwise distinguishing the two types of products from one another.

Anyone who's concerned about what's in the processed/packaged foods they eat should be reading the list of ingredients as a matter of course anyway.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
I have had to debunk this twice on my wall, already.

I believe that reduced sugar does have to be on soda as well. While I am a firm real Coke drinker (no Diet or Pepsi for me), my hubby buys generic sodas. Recently, he bought some grape soda and he told me that he had found one that tasted so bad, he couldn't drink it. When I checked it, it was sweetened with a combo or sugar and aspartame. He is not allergic to the later, but he can taste it.
 

RolandD

Active Member
I have had to debunk this twice on my wall, already.

I believe that reduced sugar does have to be on soda as well. While I am a firm real Coke drinker (no Diet or Pepsi for me), my hubby buys generic sodas. Recently, he bought some grape soda and he told me that he had found one that tasted so bad, he couldn't drink it. When I checked it, it was sweetened with a combo or sugar and aspartame. He is not allergic to the later, but he can taste it.

We got a soda stream, right before christmas, and all their regular flavors use a blend of sweeteners. Surprisingly, they don't taste like it.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
It depends on the sweeteners. I can't taste aspartame, I can taste saccharin. I can not taste Slenda, and I don't think my hubby can either. It is still more expensive than the others, I think.
 
This came up yesterday and I took the novel approach of actually reading the proposal. First and foremost is that nobody is trying to change the definition of milk or add any hidden ingredients.

Sweeteners, including artificial (non-nutritive) like aspartame are already approved ingredients used in flavored milk products like chocolate milk, strawberry yogurt, etc. Current regulations require that any milk product that contains non-nutritive sweeteners, like aspartame, must include words like "reduced calorie", or something to that effect, on the label. The only thing the industry groups are asking for is to remove that labeling requirement, and just like all ingredients it still must be included in the list of ingredients that is required for all packaged food products.



Whether you agree with the proposal or not, the fact is the only thing they're asking is to drop the requirement to add words like "reduced calorie" or "lite" to the label of artificially sweetened milk products. It's the same change that's already been implemented for artificially sweetened ice cream so those products are not required to include qualifying words to that effect on the label.



Anyone who's concerned about what's in the processed/packaged foods they eat should be reading the list of ingredients as a matter of course anyway.


Really? I expected at least a more plausible explanation then this. The request isn't to change labeling requirements but to change the definition of milk. Nice try though but this is certainly not debunked.
 
I have had to debunk this twice on my wall, already.

I believe that reduced sugar does have to be on soda as well. While I am a firm real Coke drinker (no Diet or Pepsi for me), my hubby buys generic sodas. Recently, he bought some grape soda and he told me that he had found one that tasted so bad, he couldn't drink it. When I checked it, it was sweetened with a combo or sugar and aspartame. He is not allergic to the later, but he can taste it.

Debunked it twice already? What then was the plausable explination you gave to debunk this?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Debunked it twice already? What then was the plausable explination you gave to debunk this?

Your link, which explains what the request is:

https://www.federalregister.gov/art...ity-for-milk-and-17-additional-dairy-products
Currently 131.110(c)(2) reads:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-20...R-2012-title21-vol2-part131.xml#seqnum131.110
So they simply want to add to that existing list, so they don't have to put "reduced calorie" on the label of things like chocolate milk).

Your link also explains what they think is the problem:

I think perhaps the problem came because of the language "requesting that FDA amend the standard of identity in part 131 (21 CFR part 131) for milk", which does sound like they are trying to change the definition for plain milk. But if you read 131.110, you'll see it applies to all kinds of things besides plain milk - in particular, as explained above, it already includes flavored and sweetened milk.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
They are NOT changing the definition of milk. I would suggest that you reread the proposal again.

I simply pointed out what the proposal changes, it still requires that any added item, be it a sweetener (sugar or non calorie), any flavorings or anything else STILL has to be on the ingredient label. What it does allow is that the product doesn't have to be labeled as 'low sugar' or reduced calorie'. The rules for ice cream were changed in the 1994.

I think most folks over about 5, know and understand that there are not chocolate milk or strawberry milk cows.
 
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