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As I See It

Milk should contain dairy to be called milk

Scott Robert Shaw

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There are reasons foods have labels. So you know what is in it. And how many calories it has, where it is made and a freshness date. We rarely consider how accurate those labels are. That is why some Wisconsin state legislators are proposing a truth in food labeling bill. It is primarily designed to benefit Wisconsin’s agriculture industry, but also to help consumers fully understand what is in the food they are buying. The idea is prompted by a survey by the Diary Famers of Wisconsin, which found 48% didn’t know the difference between real cheese and plant-based, imitation cheese. This legislation would insist that only cheese or yogurt actually containing dairy be able to call itself cheese or yogurt. Hardly a novel concept, but Wisconsin would become the first state to pass a truth in dairy labeling law if this is to pass. Similarly, only milk that comes from a hooved mammal could call itself milk. No offense to almonds or rice, but that isn’t really milk. For meat products, labeling plant-based meat alternatives as meat would be illegal, whether sold in stores or restaurants. Wisconsin dairy farmers are struggling, and while more accurate labeling is no silver bullet, it would at least ensure that those who want to buy only real milk, or real meat, and support our farmers, would be more easily able to do so.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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