Milk questions soy labeling

The National Milk Producers Federation filed a complaint with the Food and Drug Administration in February seeking to prohibit soy beverages from being labeled as “milk.” Soy drinks are popping up in dairy cases in packaging that closely resembles milk cartons, and NMPF is trying to protect the distinct identity of its product.

Milk, producers argue, is the product of lactation, and soybeans do not lactate. They are asking FDA to take “appropriate enforcement action.” The American Soybean Assn. believes the term soy milk is “not inappropriate,” viewing milk as a generic term that is used in many products, such as Milk of Magnesia. History is on the soybean’s side. The term “soy milk” dates back to ancient China, appearing in Europe in 1665 and in the U.S. in 1896.

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