Recently big dairy has made a big push to amend the definition of milk – to allow them to add aspartame and other sweeteners without consumers knowing!
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) filed a petition with the FDA1 requesting the agency “amend the standard of identity” for milk and 17 other dairy products.
This was done to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient — including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame to deceive you by not having to indicate its use on the label.
[T]he 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.
- Acidified milk
- Cultured milk
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Nonfat dairy milk
- Nonfat dry milk fortified with vitamins A and D
- Evaporated milk
- Dry cream
- Heavy cream
- Light cream
- Sour cream, and acidified sour cream
- Light whipping cream
- Lowfat yogurt
- Nonfat yogurt
The letter reads in part:
The proposed rule will not be a success if milk consumption drops as a result of flavored milk choices that are not appealing (or at least not as appealing as competitive beverages students may bring to school from elsewhere). Flavored milk was included as an option in the proposed rule in recognition that the small amount of added sugar (flavored milk contributes only 2-3% of added sugars to the diets of children and adolescents) is an acceptable trade-off for the extensive nutrient contribution flavored milk provides.
Therefore, NMPF urges the Department to modify the proposed rule to include both low-fat and fat-free flavored milk as options available to schools. To limit the potential for additional calories in a low-fat flavored milk (as compared to a fat-free formulation) we urge the establishment of a calorie limit on flavored milk of 150 calories per eight-ounce serving.
This will provide schools the flexibility to procure milk products that maintain high levels of acceptability and nutrient intake, while also assuring that flavored milk fits within overall calorie limits for meals. Many milk processors have proactively committed to and met a goal of 150 calories per serving as a way to limit the amount of sugar in flavored milk, and have worked within this constraint to formulate products that have demonstrated acceptability among students in schools across the country.
- Fooling your kids into drinking otherwise unpopular fat free or low fat milk, and
- Allowing the national school breakfast and lunch programs to “look good” by successfully reducing overall calories of the meals while simultaneously helping the dairy industry protect profits