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As I See It

If it’s not milk it shouldn’t be labeled as such



If you go to the store and buy something labeled as milk, or cheese or yogurt, you no doubt expect those products will contain milk from dairy animals. But a closer look reveals that is not always the case. Many products located in the dairy aisle are labeled as milk, cheese or yogurt, but contain none of those things. Instead they may be made with things like nuts, seeds, plants, even algae. The Food and Drug Administration has rules on the books that says things labeled as dairy products must contain the milk of dairy animals, but it is not being enforced. Such mislabeling is not tolerated in most sectors of the economy, but it is common in the dairy aisle. That is why Wisconsin U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is reintroducing the Dairy Pride Act to combat the misleading labeling of imitation dairy products. It is important we know what we are buying. A recent survey finds one-quarter of customers think plant-based products labeled as cheese actually contain milk, when they do not. One-third believe the product contains protein, even though most do not. And one-quarter say they buy imitation cheese because they think they are low in calories and fat, even though levels are comparable to actual dairy products. Imitation products shouldn’t be able to use dairy’s good name for their own benefit. If it’s not milk, it shouldn’t be called milk.

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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