Dairy Labeling is an 'All-Ag Issue'
Earlier this month, lawmakers urged the Food and Drug Administration to enforce its dairy labeling rules and crack down on dairy imitators. However, Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden says the issue goes beyond dairy.
Von Ruden… “We're getting into more and more products of all animal agriculture, so beef, pork, chickens, and seeing products that are not grown on the ground being labeled as beef, chicken, and pork. You know, the FDA has got to be really careful, is what they were telling us, in how they can rule on different things. But certainly, I think that's another one of those issues where if our U.S. House of Representative and Senators and ultimately the President sign a bill saying that you can't put this label on stuff that doesn't come from a mammal, then we might be in a better spot.”
Current FDA regulations define dairy products as being from dairy animals, however, the FDA has failed to enforce these regulations, allowing non-dairy products to use dairy names.
Von Ruden… “It is really frustrating, especially when the industry has put so much of an effort into making sure that we're being very accurate on our labels, and then bad actors are allowed to continue to break the rules that are already in place. And you know, it's an enforcement issue, and our elected officials should be holding agency folks feet to the fire and making sure that they're getting the job done. But as politics goes in D.C., you know, you and I and the little guys continue to take the back seats and have to put up with stuff that we really should not have to be putting up with.”
That’s Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden.