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Soy Milk Comes from Soy Cows?: A.K.A. The Dairy Industry Jumps the Shark

You know how people often go to the store to buy good old-fashioned dairy milk, and then buy this stuff called “soy milk” figuring it’s the same thing? Milk is milk, right? Yeah, I’d never heard of that happening either. But that’s exactly what the National Milk Producer’s Federation is alleging in their new campaign.

The NMPF has petitioned the FDA to crack down on the use of the term “milk” for anything that does not come from a cow or farm animal. “The FDA has allowed the meaning of “milk” to be watered down [haha!] to the point where many products that use the term have never seen the inside of a barn,” the group’s president and CEO Jerry Kozak said.

Side note: Ummm…. Is that irony, or do they not know that most milk cows have never actually seen the inside of a traditional barn? Most dairy cows are raised on massive dairy farms where they are hooked up to machines that suck their udders dry. Or perhaps the next step is redefine the term “barn.”

The NMPF petition aims to prevent the use of the term “milk” for products made from hemp, rice, almonds, and other plants. And let’s not overlook their additional crusading goal: to prevent the non-dairy confusion surrounding yogurts made from soybeans and rice; and cheeses made from soy, rice, and nuts.

Are you kidding me? Most of the middle- to upper-middle class folks who chug soy milk and nosh on soy cheese buy those products specifically because they aren’t dairy-based! And, a huge additional portion of that market buys these substitutes because of that annoying lactose-gremlin found within dairy milk.

I can’t imagine that the FDA, especially under Obama’s watch, will concede this point. Shouldn’t the NMPF be required to submit some actual data about consumer activity and confusion besides simply submitting a petition that cites decreased dairy sales and the made-up allegation of purchase confusion in stores? Not to mention the consumers. They should get a say in what gets called “milk” too.

If the FDA somehow gets their heads stuck up a dairy cow’s butt and acts on this petition, just how far will it go? We already know that Nestlé sued Muscle Milk, the popular workout protein supplement drink, to prevent them from using the term “milk” for a drink that has no dairy in it. If the FDA approves this petition, will Nestlé have precedent on its side and be able to send Muscle Milk to the glue factory?

And what about a mother’s breast milk? That’s not technically “dairy.” Will the FDA regulate the use of the term “milk” such that mothers can no longer refer to feeding their babies breast milk? Perhaps mommies can just say they breast feed their babies with mommy juice. But then, I suppose the American Juice Association will probably just object to that one.

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Posted: Friday, April 30th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Aaron Hall

Master organizer, multi-tasker, and social media maven
  1. KenF

    Quick Google Books search shows “coconut milk” in use since at least 1886. Found a cite for “soy milk” from 1906. I’m sure there are much earlier uses. This is just silliness.

  2. tariqmahmood

    cow feeding

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