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Dairy industry petitions to put aspartame in milk. Without telling you.

Courthouse News:

WASHINGTON (CN) - Dairy industry groups have asked the Food and Drug Administration to be able to put artificial sweeteners in milk, and not change the label, claiming that it is so consumers can "more easily identify its overall nutritional value".

The Food and Drug Administration is asking for data related to those sweeteners.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) filed a petition in 2009 requesting that the FDA amend its standard of identity for milk.

The petition asked the agency to allow the use of "any safe and suitable" sweetener for milk and asked to amend the standards of identity for 17 other milk and cream products.

Those products include sweetened condensed milk, whipping cream, yogurt and eggnog, which the groups say should be allowed to have "safe and suitable" sweeteners.

The groups request that the FDA "allow optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk (e.g. chocolate flavoring added to milk) to be sweetened with any safe and suitable sweetener - including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame."

FDA regulations currently only allow milk products to contain "nutritive sweeteners" (those with calories) which the agency generally recognizes as safe.

What could go wrong?

What next? A few "harmless alkaloids"?

No votes yet


Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

Well, what they're actually going for is to not label the product on the front as "diet" or "lo-cal", etc., because they feel that children won't be attracted to it. Aspartame still has to be put in the list of ingredients, (and a phenylalanine warning must be prominently displayed due to people who have PKU). One of the questions placed on the comment site is actually addressing a main issue, which is how easy will it be for consumers to find/recognize this information when the front label doesn't indicate any difference between this, and regularly sweetened dairy. BTW it's my understanding they're already doing this with ice cream.

Submitted by cg.eye on

With the crackdown on soda vending in schools, the way in for milk products is clear: Build on the demand for sweetened chocolate milk, but use artificial sweeteners to claim theirs is both a more nutritious product and one kids will accept. The hide-the-labeling antics are quite disturbing -- as if they want milk to be sweeter, even though the main nutritional concern is the fat content.

It's the sought permission to not label that makes me suspect an even-worse agenda -- such as a downgrade in milk production standards that makes milk less naturally sweet, thus requiring adulteration. Considering all the drugs they're able to give cows to fatten them up, I shudder to think what they're giving them now that's making lactose in need of support.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

They even stated it very bluntly in their petition:

IDFA and NMPF request their proposed amendments to the milk standard of identity to allow optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk (e.g., chocolate flavoring added to milk) to be sweetened with any safe and suitable sweetener—including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame. IDFA and NMPF state that the proposed amendments would promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity by providing for lower-calorie flavored milk products. They state that lower-calorie flavored milk would particularly benefit school children who, according to IDFA and NMPF, are more inclined to drink flavored milk than unflavored milk at school. As further support for the petition, IDFA and NMPF state that the proposed amendments would assist in meeting several initiatives aimed at improving the nutrition and health profile of food served in the nation's schools. Those initiatives include state-level programs designed to limit the quantity of sugar served to children during the school day.

I'm sure that the dairy industry has nothing but the best interests of the targeted consumers (children) in this effort (snark tag).