Many of you may have seen on social media and in the news last week that the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have filed a petition requesting that the Agency amend the standard of identity for milk and 17 other dairy products to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient. Our resident physician, Dr. Vincent Pedre, did further research and over the weekend launched a petition on Change.org. Here it is:
Please sign and pass it on. Here is a comment he posted on his Facebook page over the weekend:
I am a physician, thus I am shocked that the FDA would even consider this petition. To label a natural product as still under its natural name without mention of an alteration, such as the addition of artificial sweeteners to make it sweeter and thus more consumable by those easily influenced by food sweetness, is preposterous. Why is this even on the docket?
The industry states in the petition: “Accordingly, the
petitioners state that milk flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners should be labeled as milk without further claims so that consumers can ‘more easily identify its overall nutritional value.’ ” This is not meant to protect the consumer. This is meant to misinform the consumer. Putting aspartame on the label, for example, is not a “claim.” If it’s added, it’s reality.
With this country facing a veritable financial crises due to the rising rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, the last thing that we need to be adding to the food supply is more sweetness without giving the consumer the knowledge and ability to choose what they put into their bodies. For example, aspartame metabolizes into 40% aspartic acid, 50% phenylalanine, and 10% methanol. Will this milk or milk product be labeled as containing phenylalanine for children with PKU? And how about for those that choose not to consume aspartame, as its metabolite — methanol — converts to formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
It’s simple. Labeling should be transparent. Not putting sweeteners added to milk or related dairy products on the label is misleading to the consumer, and should be banned.
Feeling Inspired? Please Join Us and Take One Minute for Change by signing this petition and then forwarding it along.