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posted by mrpg on Saturday July 21 2018, @01:07PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the moo dept.

Soon, your soy milk may not be called 'milk'

Soy and almond drinks that bill themselves as "milk" may need to consider alternative language after a top regulator suggested the agency may start cracking down on use of the term.

The Food and Drug Administration signaled plans to start enforcing a federal standard that defines "milk" as coming from the "milking of one or more healthy cows." That would be a change for the agency, which has not aggressively gone after the proliferation of plant-based drinks labeled as "milk."

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb talked about the plans this week, noting there are hundreds of federal "standards of identity" spelling out how foods with various names need to be manufactured.

"The question becomes, have we been enforcing our own standard of identity," Gottlieb said about "milk" at the Politico event Tuesday. "The answer is probably not."


Original Submission

Related Stories

Meat Industry PR Campaign Bashes Plant-Based Meat Alternatives 58 comments

Plant-based burgers are "ultra-processed" like dog food, meat-backed ads say

A public-relations firm backed by meat producers has unleashed a savage marketing campaign that claims plant-based meat alternatives are unhealthy, "ultra-processed imitations" similar to dog food.

The campaign rolled out in recent weeks from the industry-funded firm Center for Consumer Freedom, according to The New York Times. So far, it has included full-page ads and opinion pieces in mainstream newspapers, including The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. All the marketing material raises health concerns about trendy meat alternatives, such as the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger.

One ad posed the question "What's hiding in your plant-based meat?" Another directed readers to take the quiz "Veggie Burger or Dog Food?"

In an op-ed, the managing director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, Will Coggin, labeled meat alternatives as "ultra-processed" foods and noted that a recent study led by the researchers at the National Institutes of Health linked ultra-processed foods to weight gain.

The negative marketing campaign comes amid soaring popularity of meat alternatives, which threaten to slice into the meat market's sales and profits. In recent months, big players in the meat industry had tried a different—some might say hypocritical—tactic to compete with the new comers—that is, they released their own lines of meat alternatives. Now, the industry wants consumers to think such alternatives are unhealthy.

Older stories:


Original Submission

Missouri Regulates Use of the Word "Meat" by Food Producers 37 comments

Missouri has prohibited producers of meat alternatives, such as lab-grown/cultured meat and plant-based fake meats, from using the term "meat" to describe products not derived from harvested livestock or poultry:

On Tuesday, Missouri becomes the first state in the country to have a law on the books that prohibits food makers to use the word "meat" to refer to anything other than animal flesh. This takes aim at manufacturers of what has been dubbed fake or non-traditional meat. Clean meat -- also known as lab-grown meat -- is made of cultured animal tissue cells, while plant-based meat is generally from ingredients such as soy, tempeh and seitan.

The state law forbids "misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry." Violators may be fined $1,000 and imprisoned for a year.

[...] The Missouri Cattlemen's Association, which worked to get the state law passed, has cited shopper confusion and protecting local ranchers as reasons for the legislation. "The big issue was marketing with integrity and...consumers knowing what they're getting," said Missouri Cattlemen's Association spokesman Mike Deering. "There's so much unknown about this."

Turtle Island Foods, which makes "Tofurky", has sued the state:

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by kazzie on Saturday July 21 2018, @01:16PM (37 children)

    by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 21 2018, @01:16PM (#710402)

    a federal standard that defines "milk" as coming from the "milking of one or more healthy cows."

    What about the sheep and goats?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by takyon on Saturday July 21 2018, @01:31PM (6 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday July 21 2018, @01:31PM (#710405) Journal

      Maybe they'll define all large mammals as cows.

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      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @01:34PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @01:34PM (#710407)

        In that case, I am already ahead of them in this classification. I also classify sufficiently large mammals as whales.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:52PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:52PM (#710461)

        ...and they are also spherical...

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @09:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @09:38PM (#710579)

        I don't think what will go over well with human females.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @10:07PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @10:07PM (#710585)

        66 REDEFINE LARGE-MAMMAL AS COW

        I wish I could have posted that as a punch-card.
        We can take it as 100% safe bet that the top regulator expert is (cough) sponsored by the Dairy Industry.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @10:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @10:25PM (#710595)

          Ah, you can go play at http://www.masswerk.at/keypunch/ [masswerk.at]

      • (Score: 1) by noneof_theabove on Saturday July 21 2018, @10:19PM

        by noneof_theabove (6189) on Saturday July 21 2018, @10:19PM (#710588)

        I already have.
        Live in a county in Tejas with the highest insurance rates for autos, highest teen birth rate, highest rate of diabetes and
        the most overweight [cows].

        The are 11 year old boys running around that back in the 60's when I grew would have had to wear a bra.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by choose another one on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:06PM (12 children)

      by choose another one (515) on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:06PM (#710435)

      > What about the sheep and goats?

      And the people. Doesn't anyone think of the children any more?

      Actually I think baby feeds are not allowed to be called "baby milk" unless they are actually made of milk - why they are called "baby formula" instead, and I think that applies in USA too.

      I really don't understand the vegan milk/cheese/bacon/sausage/burger brigade - I get why you might want to not eat animal products, but not why you would then want to eat food that is named the same as animal products. Seems a bit like claiming you are anti-car and then insisting your bicycle is actually a car, or saying you are anti-gun and then carrying a replica everywhere and insisting it's actually an AR15.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:16PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:16PM (#710440)

        Goat milk is extracted from goats, and soy milk is extracted from soy, so baby milk is...?

        This kind of thing was a problem for Gerber's baby food in Africa. Cans of food sold in Africa normally have pictures of the food. (picture of corn on a can of corn, picture of green beans on a can of green beans, etc.) Gerber baby food had pictures of babies.

        Admittedly, "baby formula" isn't much better. It sounds like something used to create babies. Eeeeeew. I'm not feeding THAT to my baby.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @05:17PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @05:17PM (#710490)

          It sounds like something used to create babies. Eeeeeew. I'm not feeding THAT to my baby.

          But, it has everything a growing baby needs... :0

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by acid andy on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:33PM (5 children)

        by acid andy (1683) on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:33PM (#710449) Homepage Journal

        but not why you would then want to eat food that is named the same as animal products

        Vegan here. But I share your point of view, more or less. The thought of so called "mock meats" make me want to gag. I am OK with non-dairy drinks being presented as "milks" though. It's probably down to the fact that I was veggie for quite some time before I went the whole, err, cob! I do have a convenient rationalization for this behavior developed afterwards though: as a mammal it's perfectly natural to enjoy drinking milks (and yeah trolls, I'm already perfectly aware there's a similar argument about it being natural as an omnivore to eat meat!). I'd consider drinking human milk if it was fully consensual and pasteurized. Why don't they sell human milk in stores to feed babies?

        --
        Where did that thought come from? And that one? What about this one? Woah, man...
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by schad on Saturday July 21 2018, @05:10PM

          by schad (2398) on Saturday July 21 2018, @05:10PM (#710488)

          Why don't they sell human milk in stores to feed babies?

          Well, you have to pay humans, whereas you don't have to pay cows. Thus human milk would be considerably more expensive.

          With that said, it is possible to buy human milk, and some people do. I mean, nursemaids were a thing: women who breastfed children that weren't their own. Nowadays, with the advent of breast pumps, freezers, and next-day shipping, they're more likely to bottle and sell their milk instead. There's not a huge market for it, but the market that exists is willing to pay a lot for the real deal.

          The things you learn when you don't want to feed your kid soy-based formula!

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Saturday July 21 2018, @06:08PM (1 child)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 21 2018, @06:08PM (#710515) Homepage Journal

          I'd consider drinking human milk if it was fully consensual and past your eyes.

          FTFY

          --
          "I didn't lose to him!" - The Donald referring to Trippin' Joe
          • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Saturday July 21 2018, @06:33PM

            by acid andy (1683) on Saturday July 21 2018, @06:33PM (#710522) Homepage Journal

            Oh, that old chestnut! They're more like fruit actually. Big, round, bouncy chest fruit.

            --
            Where did that thought come from? And that one? What about this one? Woah, man...
        • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Sunday July 22 2018, @02:27AM (1 child)

          But directly, not in stores

          Women who express too much sell it to women who don't express enough

          If a lady keeps using a breast pump she cab lactate for quite a lot longer time

          A friend of mine did so while her daughter awaited a kidney transplant

          --
          Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by choose another one on Sunday July 22 2018, @10:17AM

            by choose another one (515) on Sunday July 22 2018, @10:17AM (#710704)

            Correct, and it is also donated [some places at least]. Milk banks collect from donors and distribute, just as blood banks do for blood.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @04:08PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @04:08PM (#710463)

        I really don't understand the vegan milk/cheese/bacon/sausage/burger brigade - I get why you might want to not eat animal products, but not why you would then want to eat food that is named the same as animal products.

        Because many people are vegans/vegetarians for ethical reasons. Fake meat and so on do not pose an issue for them.

        • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Saturday July 21 2018, @04:49PM

          by acid andy (1683) on Saturday July 21 2018, @04:49PM (#710479) Homepage Journal

          Actually, there's something I forgot to add, and it was more or less the opposite of what you just said.

          It was that I suspect that most of the vegans that want to eat imitation meats just adopted it as a fad diet, where they still desire meat to eat but attempt to avoid it with the aim of losing weight or improving their health.

          Good job this isn't Hacker News -- that place seems to be full of fad dieters for some reason!

          I'm not saying that ditching or reducing your consumption of animal products can't be a healthier option, just that there are a lot of dieters that blindly follow trends without really understanding any of the science behind a diet.

          --
          Where did that thought come from? And that one? What about this one? Woah, man...
        • (Score: 2) by looorg on Saturday July 21 2018, @08:53PM

          by looorg (578) on Saturday July 21 2018, @08:53PM (#710562)

          Because many people are vegans/vegetarians for ethical reasons. Fake meat and so on do not pose an issue for them.

          But why can't they call it what it is then? Soy-milk or Quorn-meat (or whatever that mushroom thing is called/spelled again). Fake products should note and acknowledge their "fakeness" so it isn't confused or mixed up with the real product.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by exaeta on Saturday July 21 2018, @04:39PM

      by exaeta (6957) on Saturday July 21 2018, @04:39PM (#710476) Homepage Journal

      11th Circuit already ruled that truthful advertising can't be regulated by government per Reed v. Gilbert.

      On these grounds, I don't think they can stop you from selling "goat milk" and it's questionable if they cab regulate "soymilk" this late given that it has been used so frequently.
      "Soy Milk" has already been accepted into the dictionary:

      https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soy%20milk [merriam-webster.com]

      They can maybe stop you from just calling it "milk" without specifying though, but at this point it's unclear.

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      Help Wanted: A DNS Alternative [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by HiThere on Saturday July 21 2018, @05:52PM

      by HiThere (866) on Saturday July 21 2018, @05:52PM (#710509) Journal

      The last time I read about this, the submission didn't say anything about cows, though it did say "milking".

      FWIW, having looked at the protein levels of the various things called "almond milk", "soy milk", etc. I think that they *should* be renamed to prevent consumer fraud. Some of them have quite low levels of protein. Some seem to be sugar beverages disguised as something nutritional.

      --
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    • (Score: 2) by looorg on Saturday July 21 2018, @08:49PM (13 children)

      by looorg (578) on Saturday July 21 2018, @08:49PM (#710559)

      While that is true how often do you see sheep and goats milk in the store? Or if you like why don't they sell human milk? I give you that the definition is somewhat less then ideal but on the other hand it really does fill a very narrow market.

      I must say all this talk about soy- or wheat- or whatever the fuckgrain it is that they claim to be milk is somewhat annoying. How do you milk wheat? If you can't milk it how can the product be called "milk"? Mixing something with water isn't milking.

      • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Saturday July 21 2018, @10:29PM

        by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Saturday July 21 2018, @10:29PM (#710597) Journal

        Goat milk is pretty common actually. (I think it's become less common in recent years due to the rise of alternative "milks"; goat milk used to be a common option for lactose intolerant, because it contains less lactose and a significant number of lactose intolerant people found it a better option.)

        Sheep milk is rarely sold at retail, but it (as well as goat) is commonly used for cheese making and occasionally for other products.

      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Sunday July 22 2018, @09:41AM (7 children)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 22 2018, @09:41AM (#710698) Journal
        Both milks and cheeses from goats are readily available here in France, and I suspect elsewhere in Europe too.
        --
        It's always my fault...
        • (Score: 2) by KritonK on Sunday July 22 2018, @10:30AM (5 children)

          by KritonK (465) on Sunday July 22 2018, @10:30AM (#710708)

          In Greece, too, where you can find goat's milk at the super market. It's quite expensive (about double the price of cow's milk), but I'm told it is much better for children, as it is closer to mother's milk than cow's milk. And yes, you can also find ass's milk, which is even closer, but at outrageous prices (about 12€ for a 100 ml jar).

          I buy my cheese at the store of a local dairy, and I think that all their cheeses are made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk or goat's milk alone. As these milks are more fatty than cow's milk (especially sheep's milk), cheese made from them is much richer than cheese made from cow's milk, so a small amount will go a long way.

          • (Score: 2) by looorg on Sunday July 22 2018, @11:51AM (4 children)

            by looorg (578) on Sunday July 22 2018, @11:51AM (#710720)

            As noted they don't sell that milk up here in the north, Sweden. We do get all the cheese tho, feta would be one that comes to mind (both real and fake once) and as far as I can recall that is goat/sheep or some combo. Donkey milk, that sounds kind of interesting.

            • (Score: 2) by KritonK on Sunday July 22 2018, @01:53PM (3 children)

              by KritonK (465) on Sunday July 22 2018, @01:53PM (#710745)

              If it's the real thing, feta cheese must be made using a mixture of sheep and goat's milk. It must also be made in Greece, so the fake version cannot be called feta, even if it is better. (I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised: I prefer Danablu to Roquefort, e.g. I also wouldn't be surprised if all white rennet cheese is called feta outside Greece, EU regulations be damned: whenever I ask for Danablu at the supermarket, I have to explain that I want "Danish Roquefort".)

              • (Score: 2) by looorg on Sunday July 22 2018, @01:59PM (2 children)

                by looorg (578) on Sunday July 22 2018, @01:59PM (#710749)

                That is true as far as I know. Before Greece got all up in arms about it and made Feta a protected name/product (or whatever the correct terminology for it is) there was others. They, the "fake-feta", are still available but they are now, here, called "salad cheese" instead. They are as far as I know made from cow-milk but they look about the same. They have a milder less salty taste compared to the real thing and are softer in texture. It's as the name suggests fairly commonly here used in salads and kebabs and such things. Overall tho I eat mostly hard cheeses so I'm really doubling down on the cow-milk all around I guess.

                • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Sunday July 22 2018, @03:30PM (1 child)

                  by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 22 2018, @03:30PM (#710778) Journal

                  The following popular cheese are all made from non-bovine milk if they are genuine:

                  • Manchego
                  • Feta
                  • Buffalo mozzarella
                  • Lebbene
                  • Humboldt Fog
                  • Halloumi
                  • Pecorino
                  • Tzfat
                  • Roquefort

                  I am sure that there are many others, but non-bovine milk and cheese is nowhere near as rare as many people think it is.

                  --
                  It's always my fault...
        • (Score: 2) by looorg on Sunday July 22 2018, @11:47AM

          by looorg (578) on Sunday July 22 2018, @11:47AM (#710718)

          That sounds like a southern Europe thing, up here in the northern part (Sweden) we are more or less cow milk only. Goat/Sheep etc are as noted previously more seen as cheese milks. I'm sure some little specialty store might carry it but the big chains doesn't. They do have all the fake milks (wheat, soy, almond ...) but not the milk from other mammals.

      • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Sunday July 22 2018, @02:46PM (2 children)

        by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 22 2018, @02:46PM (#710768)

        Goats' milk is now commonly sold in most UK supermarkets, and also some convenience stores. There are two main suppliers, and they both offer it the UK's three standard fat-content varieties (skimmed, (0.1%), semi-skimmed (2%), and whole (3%).

        Rewind two or three decades, and you could only buy it from the sort of specialist food shops you'd find in larger towns/cities (whole milk only, in bulk, frozen).

        • (Score: 2) by looorg on Sunday July 22 2018, @03:50PM (1 child)

          by looorg (578) on Sunday July 22 2018, @03:50PM (#710783)

          So what explains the, somewhat, fairly rapid increase from a specialist item to a "common" item? It can't all be milk hipsters.

          • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Sunday July 22 2018, @04:58PM

            by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 22 2018, @04:58PM (#710808)

            I'm not sure I can tell you the cause of the rise, but I can tell you that my wife (who has an intolerance to cow's milk' but is fine with goat's) is glad of its availability. Her mother didn't enjoy pushing a pram-load of milk across the city for her when she was a baby/toddler.

      • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Monday July 23 2018, @03:14AM

        There's no problem getting goat milk at my local corner store. It is sole by the litre.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 22 2018, @02:14AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 22 2018, @02:14AM (#710638)

      Or people....

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RandomFactor on Saturday July 21 2018, @01:53PM (12 children)

    by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 21 2018, @01:53PM (#710414) Journal

    Is there any indication that 'soy milk' is something causing any significant confusion among consumers (there's confusion that it is a healthy drink, but that's a different discussion)

    Soy Milk - it has what plants crave!

    --
    В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
    • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @02:33PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @02:33PM (#710424)

      First off, soy milk is not a healthy drink. Second off, in no sense of the word are these milks real substitutes for actual milk. They sort of work kind of.

      The problem is that people who don't have allergies may not know how to read the label, especially if the soy is on the previous line from milk making it easy to miss.really, this should have been done years ago as most food recalls involve Allergens rather than things dangerous to the public as a whole.

      Especially given the increased prevalence and severity of food allergies. Not to mention the "brilliant" vegans that use it in baby formula.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:38PM (#710453)

        SOY BOYS! SOY BOYS! ESTROGEN!

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by AthanasiusKircher on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:18PM (9 children)

      by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:18PM (#710442) Journal

      Is there any indication that 'soy milk' is something causing any significant confusion among consumers

      Yes.

      I have a number of friends who buy soy milk, almond milk, etc., and then drink them in places where they would normally drink milk. They feed them to kids instead of milk. They ask me in they can substitute them in recipes for milk. Also, stores stock these in the same location next to each other. Clearly, consumers think one is basically an equivalent of the other.

      The FDA's recommendation here is roughly in line with EU definitions [europa.eu], which state:

      "Milk" means exclusively the normal mammary secretion obtained from one or more milkings without either addition thereto or extraction therefrom. [...] As regards milk, the animal species from which the milk originates shall be stated, if it is not bovine."

      In other words, "Milk" by itself does mean "cow's milk." The term may used for other mammalian milk with the qualification of the type of animal (e.g., "goat milk," "sheep milk," etc.).

      Now, I know a number of posts here already question why such a regulation is necessary or useful. I'm somewhat surprised because usually around here there's a lot of complaints about "pink slime" in beef, etc., even though that's actually still part of the cow.

      Words do mean things (though such meaning can shift), and calling something "milk" will imply that it can be used in similar way, serve similar purposes, etc. That's not always true with the various "milks" on the market today.

      It also has implications for quality. If veggie burgers started selling products next to the meat section and called them "beef" or even just "meat," would anyone mind? What if you started to get "ground beef" with 15% grain mixed in to "stretch" it? Is that a problem?

      That sort of thing happened in the past, which is why the FDA started creating consumer standards and definitions. Even with them, you get a lot of bogus nonsense. You get yogurt makers putting labels on that say, "No added sugar" when they have an ingredient called "evaporated cane juice" which is basically identical to cane sugar (with slightly different processing and a little more molasses). That's a consumer problem.

      And we currently are seeing the "stretching" of meat in unclear ways. I was wondering why chicken breasts were so cheap at the store a while back. Then I noticed why -- "contains brine solution with chicken broth of up to 15%" (or something like that). So, what I'm really paying for is 85% chicken and 15% water. That's why that package of "chicken" is cheaper... except it's not chicken, it's "Chicken and Broth" and should be prominently labeled as such. If you put a few chicken breasts and a large packet of water in the package for injection at home, I bet a lot of consumers would question whether pricing is fair to charge you for that weight.

      And that same thing happens surreptitiously with products like bacon all the time, whose definition has now basically been permanently changed. Traditional dry or wet cured bacon doesn't cook at all like modern "bacon" which is injected with a large amount of brine to speed up curing. Well, initially it was to speed up curing -- now, they just add as much water as they can get away with to charge more for crap. We've gradually allowed the definition of "bacon" to be changed, so it's nearly impossible to find traditional bacon anymore in a standard grocery store. (Although, you can find what I like to call "BS bacon," which states that it's "uncured" but generally contains more nitrates than "cured" bacon, just delivered through "natural" sources like celery powder.)

      It's all BS. And the more BS we allow, the stupider and more accepting the public becomes, and the worse the quality of our food at grocery stores get. Yes, this is a bit of a slippery slope argument, but we're so far down the slope for the nomenclature of many store goods that have been adulterated in various ways, no one seems to care anymore.

      Sure, this is an effort by the dairy lobby to restrict the nomenclature of "milk." But doesn't restricting the definition in this case make at least some sense? What does "soy milk" have to do with "milk" as traditionally understood??

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Saturday July 21 2018, @05:34PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday July 21 2018, @05:34PM (#710493) Journal

        If we don't want the slide in quality and evasion of regulation you're talking about, then we have to engineer things differently in our society.

        In the past people have campaigned successfully for better labeling to combat the erosion of quality. To combat fake sugar water being passed off as juice flavored with a little citric acid, they insisted on labels that specified what percentage of the volume was fruit juice. So the companies said 'no problem' and started labeling their juice as 'orange, with 100% real juice!' when the juice was 100% white grapes (the cheapest fruit to juice) and a little pulp and citric acid were added to make it taste like orange.

        Pink slime, which you cited, was used to claim 100% all-beef patties, though none of us looking at a vat of pink slime would ever have called it that.

        The profit motive drives that race to the bottom. Essentially, it gives producers every reason to cheat. That in turn gives producers added incentive to recruit government as an accessory to the cheating. Average Joe, working three jobs to pay the mortgage, student loans, medical insurance, taxes, taxes, taxes, sales taxes, and utilities that seem to grow more expensive by double digits every year, does not have the time and certainly does not have the energy to keep an eye on government to make sure they're not stabbing him in the back. Thus a very few win big, and everyone else loses and loses and loses.

        One answer is DIY. Don't trust food companies and the government? Then grow/raise your own food. But Average Joe might not have any time left to do that, and Average Sue, living in a studio apartment in Manhattan, can't exactly plant the back 40 to grow the soy beans she wants to eat. Then again, maybe Sue can get part of the way there by using a CSA and green markets.

        Those remain edge cases, though, and something bigger has to change about why we do what we do.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2, Disagree) by sjames on Saturday July 21 2018, @05:43PM (7 children)

        by sjames (2882) on Saturday July 21 2018, @05:43PM (#710502) Journal

        None of what you said in the first paragraph constitutes confusion. They KNOW what they're buying didn't come from a cow or any other animal. If they didn't, why would they ask if it can be used as a substitute in a recipe? Nobody goes to the store to pick up regular old cow's milk, buys a carton of soy milk, then upon tasting says "what the hell is this?".

        And unless you can find an example of someone thinking they can substitute the milk in their coffee with milk of magnesia, I'm not buying that the term milk as part of "soy milk" or "almond milk" is confusing.

        I have never seen a container claiming simply to be "Milk" that didn't turn out to be from a cow.

        As for the FDA's motives, note how they don't seem to give a damn if chicken and broth is sold as chicken. They also allow "100% parmesan cheese to be 2% added cellulose powder. (surely it should be sold as 98% "Parmesan cheese"?)

        • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Sunday July 22 2018, @02:14AM (6 children)

          by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Sunday July 22 2018, @02:14AM (#710639) Journal

          They may know that they aren't buying cow's milk, but they may still be confused. Specifically, I'd argue that many consumers assume they are buying MILK, i.e., something with a roughly equivalent set of nutrients, use cases, etc. They aren't trying to substitute tomato juice or ginger ale or whatever in recipes that call for "milk," but they figure they might be able to use soy or almond or oat or whatever juice, mainly because the packaging says "milk."

          In reality, of course, they are using a product that usually only shares the fact that it is white and liquid and generally is formulated to have roughly the same viscosity as actual milk. Otherwise, the product is often quite different chemically, nutritionally, etc.

          As for your latter point about chicken, are you seriously arguing that one wrong should excuse another wrong? I noted in my previous post that the motivations behind this may not be pure, but if it leads to improvement in food labeling, I'm still in favor of it.

          • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday July 22 2018, @03:10AM (5 children)

            by sjames (2882) on Sunday July 22 2018, @03:10AM (#710650) Journal

            See my point about milk of magnesia.

            In fact, soy and almond milk can be and ARE used successfully as a substitute for cows milk for coffee, cereal, and cooking.

            Unlike the chicken injected with brine or broth, soy milk has always been produced from soy beans. No surprises.

            As someone who is on a salt restricted diet, I can say I would more likely be physically harmed by the surprise brine injection than truthfully marked soy milk.

            • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Sunday July 22 2018, @04:33AM (3 children)

              by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Sunday July 22 2018, @04:33AM (#710666) Journal

              Let's just be clear about one thing: the primary reason soy, almond, oat, etc. "milk" producers call their products "milk" is to convince consumers to buy their product, believing it to be like another product.

              The primary reason the dairy industry wants to limit the use of the term is because they want to emphasize the difference in the products.

              Both sides here are motivated by business at the expense of the other. And there's no objective logical standard to appeal to other than changing English usage.

              My point is that you're obviously convinced you are correct. I actually don't care that much about this case aside from its relationship to larger trends in food labeling that I do think are seriously problematic.

              But at heart both sides here are less concerned about linguistic purity than about making money by advertising at the expense of their rivals. The alternative "milk" industry doesn't have purer motives than the dairy industry or the FDA.

              • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday July 22 2018, @04:59PM (2 children)

                by sjames (2882) on Sunday July 22 2018, @04:59PM (#710809) Journal

                No, it's called milk because you can use it in your coffee, on your cereal or for cooking like you can cow's milk. Since it is popular among vegans and people who are lactose intolerant, I doubt very much that there is any desire to confuse consumers as to it's origin (since that would kill their market). It causes zero confusion.

                This is all about trying to use regulation to accomplish what marketing has failed at.

                • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Monday July 23 2018, @03:56AM (1 child)

                  by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Monday July 23 2018, @03:56AM (#711051) Journal

                  I'll try yet again to say that I never implied the confusion was about its origin. The confusion is that some random white liquids are equivalent to "milk."

                  And yes, you can use these various products in some similar fashion to how you use actual milk, just like you can use artificial sweeteners in some applications similar to sugar. That's the point: the products have been engineered (often with added sugars and flavors, sometimes thickening agents or other additives to change properties) to be similar enough to confuse people about whether they are equivalent to milk (not again, not the same in origin as milk, but equivalent in properties).

                  Unfortunately, just as artificial sweeteners have some surface similarities to sugar, so the similarities are only "surface level" to "milk."

                  Sweeteners are not sugar, though they can sometimes be used in place of it.

                  Note again that I have absolutely nothing against almond or soy or whatever juices being used by whomever (I sometimes enjoy these products myself), and some may have good nutrition or reasons to be used. However, they are not "milk," as generally understood... And that term was again only appropriated by those who engineered these substances to play off the similarities to milk.

                  Also, if vegans don't care and don't want there to be confusion, why the heck would they argue to appropriate an animal-based term?? It's only for advertising purposes.

                  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Monday July 23 2018, @02:52PM

                    by sjames (2882) on Monday July 23 2018, @02:52PM (#711255) Journal

                    So nobody is getting deceived or confused in any way, why again do we have the FDA throwing it's weight around and demanding an expensive redesign of all those cartons and associated re-branding campaigns? (ultimately paid for by consumers)

                    Next up, "Lucky Charms" haven't been shown to have an effect on probability and Cheerios haven't been evaluated for their value as an anti-depressant?

            • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Sunday July 22 2018, @04:39AM

              by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Sunday July 22 2018, @04:39AM (#710668) Journal

              And when grocers start stocking milk of magnesia next to dairy milk and remove all the labeling that indicated milk of magnesia is a medication rather than a food... Maybe you'd have a point there.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Saturday July 21 2018, @01:56PM (18 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Saturday July 21 2018, @01:56PM (#710416) Journal

    So the dairy industry is feeling the pinch?
    Should we have laws that say all non-dairy cow 'milk' have to be coloured pink or black?
    What about the poor goat? Do goats no longer provide milk to their young? What do they now provide? ILK? YUCK?

    This is fecking silly lobbyist crap. Grow up, you stupid FDA idiots. Maybe we should reclassify the FDA as the MDC: Milk and Drug Corporation?

    MDC! :)

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channelling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Saturday July 21 2018, @02:21PM (3 children)

      by bzipitidoo (4388) on Saturday July 21 2018, @02:21PM (#710422) Journal

      I heard that when margarine first came out, Iowa (one of the biggest farm states) would not allow manufacturers to add food coloring. Instead, if they wanted they were allowed to include a little pill that the consumers could blend themselves. That rule didn't last long. If this proposal becomes law, I expect it won't last long either.

      Meantime, producers will have to say "milk substitute", "artificial milk", or "synthetic milk" instead of just "milk"? Can they say "I can't believe it's not milk"? Or can't they use the term at all, and we'll see stuff like "soy drink" instead? Are they going to cover all dairy terms so they can't say "soy butter", "soy cream", or "soy cheese" either?

      Where does powdered milk, lactose free milk, and fat free milk land? Is it still milk if you take the lactose out?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:08PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:08PM (#710436)

        My mom was given the job of mixing the coloring into the margarine.

        Not that margarine was any good, but if it were, we should have just gotten used to it being white. Food coloring is fraud. It mostly isn't even safe. We're on Red 40 now because 39 previous attempts caused cancer, and now we're finding that Red 40 is causing hyperactivity.

        I guess I'm OK with calling something "milk" if all the nutrient amounts are within the ranges that you could find for real milk that humans actually drink. Humans drink from cattle, goats, camels, and humans. Every amino acid must be in the range by mass and by portion relative to the others. Salt, fat, iron, carbohydrates... all must be within the range.

      • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:09PM (1 child)

        by choose another one (515) on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:09PM (#710438)

        > Meantime, producers will have to say "milk substitute", "artificial milk", or "synthetic milk" instead of just "milk"?

        Or maybe just "... formula" - as is done for baby not-milks ?

        • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Saturday July 21 2018, @04:31PM

          by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 21 2018, @04:31PM (#710473)

          Those tend to be sold in powdered form as a rule (though ready-mixed bottles are also offered, at a premium).

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @02:43PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @02:43PM (#710428)
      No such luck with Scott Gottlieb. He’s a Big Pharma man through and through, and sadly, he was quite possibly the best possible choice out of several people Trump had been considering to lead the FDA. The president actually had in mind a couple of guys would have been even worse disasters: Jim O’Neill, a fellow who thinks that the FDA shouldn’t be responsible for demonstrating the efficacy (only safety) of pharmaceuticals, and Balaji Srinivasan, who actually said once: “[we] can do vastly better than FDA w/ a Yelp for drugs, including MD star ratings (like all other products).” Why the latter is absolute insanity I think doesn't need explanation. Gottlieb, fortunately, is still on the spectrum of the kind of FDA heads we’d expect a normal Republican president to appoint, and as such he’ll likely go where industry lobbyists will lead.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @02:57PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @02:57PM (#710432)

        Being a cable TV lobbyist seemed pretty horrible for running the FCC, but he knew all the dirty tricks and turned out to not be beholden to his previous masters.

        Scott Gottlieb might be similar.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:50PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:50PM (#710459)

          Unless Scott Gottlieb toadies up to the orange one, he won't last long in the cabinet.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:52PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @03:52PM (#710460)
          Tom Wheeler though, had a boss who believed that was the mission of the FCC. The same cannot be said of Scott Gottlieb’s boss though.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Saturday July 21 2018, @05:39PM (1 child)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday July 21 2018, @05:39PM (#710497) Journal

      If the dairy industry is feeling the pinch, then they should think twice about this move. If they force soy, almond, coconut, and other varieties to stop calling themselves "milk" then cow milk won't be able to ride on the coattails of the positive associations consumers have with the other varieties of milk.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 22 2018, @12:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 22 2018, @12:09PM (#710728)

        the positive associations [...] with the other varieties of milk.

        Say what?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by schad on Saturday July 21 2018, @06:04PM (7 children)

      by schad (2398) on Saturday July 21 2018, @06:04PM (#710513)

      This honestly isn't that hard. The word "milk" has a meaning. It means either the product of lactation from a mammal (noun form), or the process by which those products are extracted (verb form). That's what the word means, it's what the word has meant for hundreds of years. Probably for as long as the word has existed. This is what literally every single English-speaker in the world who knows the word understands it to mean.

      Do you know how almond milk, for instance, is made? You soak almonds in water. Then you puree them in a blender and push them through a cheesecloth. The liquid that drains through the cloth is almond milk. (The stuff that stays behind can be dried and ground. That's almond flour.) That's not milk, and no honest person would ever describe it that way. It's almond water. And that's exactly what it tastes like. The stuff sold in stores usually has sugar and vanilla added for taste, and is then fortified with vitamins because plain almond milk is... well, it's almond water. So it, of course, has roughly the nutritional profile of water.

      Now, "milk" on products meaning "cow's milk" specifically... that's bowing to the masses. Absent other context, if someone says "get me a glass of milk," what they mean is "get me a glass of cow's milk." So it's reasonable to follow that convention on product packaging. But still, if you wanted to argue that all cow's milk should be labeled as such, I wouldn't disagree too strongly. I think it's unnecessary because, as I said, everyone in the US already correctly understands what a carton of "milk" contains. But I don't think it would be confusing to consumers or cost the cow's milk sellers any money or anything to be more specific.

      By the way, I don't mind almond milk. I just think it's stupid to call it milk. Really, as a manufactured product, it should probably have a new word invented as its name (as with margarine). But if you insist on using the names of other things, I wouldn't object to "almond water."

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Gaaark on Saturday July 21 2018, @07:57PM (3 children)

        by Gaaark (41) on Saturday July 21 2018, @07:57PM (#710551) Journal

        Looks like milk to me: in no way does almond 'water' look like water.

        "Milkweed is named for its latex, a milky substance containing cardiac glycosides termed cardenolides that is exuded where cells are damaged."
        In other words, it's 'sap' looks like milk and has been called 'milk' weed since at least 1753.

        Goats milk: is it not milk also?
        Breast milk?

        For them to be wasting their time on this means ONLY that the dairy industry has their knickers in a twist and are lobbying hard because the competition is biting into their profits and their subsidies.

        When I say get me a glass of milk, everyone who knows me knows I mean almond milk.

        It's like Kleenex: if someone says get me a Kleenex, everyone knows what's what, the same as get me a tissue.

        They are giving in to the dairy lobby. Plain and simple.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channelling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @10:15PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21 2018, @10:15PM (#710587)

          No, they are not giving in to the dairy industry. There has been times when food items needed to be defined because of vendor chicanery. Ice cream is one example. Ice cream is very well defined, so you can't pass off overly-aerated non-dairy crap as ice cream. Cheese is another example. There is a reason that some "cheese" that comes in individually-wrapped slices has to label itself as "processed cheese food", because there isn't much of what one would consider cheese in those slices. Some of these food producers take a homeopathic approach to their products, such as "Kona" or "Jamaican Blue Mountain" coffees, which for a while contained a smidgen of those coffees and the rest regular arabica. Do you consider 99% arabica and 2% Kona coffee to be sold as Kona coffee? It goes to truth in advertising.

          And they're not "wasting their time" on this. They are considering whether they need to enforce existing rules that are on the books.

          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Saturday July 21 2018, @11:20PM (1 child)

            by Gaaark (41) on Saturday July 21 2018, @11:20PM (#710604) Journal

            Disregarding your math, I don't think anyone is confusing soy milk or almond milk with cow milk. Nothing is being lied about, nor is there any lies in the advertising.
            They are not calling it cows milk, but it's really 99% almond milk....it's almond milk!
            Ice cream needed to be changed because there is no cream involved.

            If the dairy lobby isn't involved, why not let it be: everyone knows almond milk is made from almonds, soy milk is made from soy and cows milk is made from cows milk.

            No confusion, no change s needed!

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channelling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
            • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Sunday July 22 2018, @02:23AM

              by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Sunday July 22 2018, @02:23AM (#710642) Journal

              Ice cream needed to be changed because there is no cream involved.

              LOL.

              Please re-read this sentence again juxtaposed against the rest of your argument. If you don't see the logical inconsistency, I don't know what to say.

              And by the way, I'm not against various alternative "milks" in any way. But calling them "milk" is also just a marketing scheme by their producers. So if you want to call out the dairy industry, at least be consistent and acknowledge that you're arguing for precisely the same thing from the other side.

      • (Score: 2, Touché) by khallow on Sunday July 22 2018, @12:52AM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 22 2018, @12:52AM (#710621) Journal

        By the way, I don't mind almond milk. I just think it's stupid to call it milk.

        I have a suggestion. Instead of calling it "milk", call it "almond milk" just like the producers do. Then you're not calling it "milk". Seriously, adjectives are here for a reason.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 22 2018, @12:12AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 22 2018, @12:12AM (#710613)

    They could call them milk substitute, and market how much healthy they are versus milk. No added hormones, etc. Although, is powdered milk still considered milk?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Sunday July 22 2018, @12:16PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 22 2018, @12:16PM (#710731) Journal

      Although, is powdered milk still considered milk?

      I don't see why now as long as it is milked from a powdered cow.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Fnord666 on Sunday July 22 2018, @12:16AM

    by Fnord666 (652) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 22 2018, @12:16AM (#710614)
    They could take a page from the fruit industry and just call it "nut juice". I'm sure the marking department will have a ball with that.
  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Sunday July 22 2018, @02:19AM (1 child)

    It's a colloidal suspension of oil in water that is used to cool lathe tools

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by c0lo on Sunday July 22 2018, @01:40PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 22 2018, @01:40PM (#710743) Journal

      Machinist's Milk?

      For a moment, you got me confused. Milking machi... ugh... never mind

      It's a colloidal suspension of oil in water that is used to cool lathe tools

      Do they ingest it? If not, I don't know what the Food and Drug Agency would be concerned about.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
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