U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, pressed FDA commissioner nominee Dr. Robert Califf in the latest Senate hearing about whether the FDA will begin enforcing labeling standards.
Enforcing labeling standards has been a priority for the dairy industry. Several dairy and animal ag groups have advocated for enforced labeling of dairy and meat products to avoid plant-based beverages and foods from riding the coattails of dairy marketing.
Califf said he would make the issue a priority should he be confirmed as FDA commissioner.
There is “almost nothing more fundamental about safety than people understanding exactly what they’re ingesting, so I am committed to making this a priority if I am confirmed,” he says.
The National Milk Producers Federation thanked Baldwin for her advocacy for accurate labeling and public health in her hearing questions.
NMPF has been speaking out on FDA’s lack of enforcing its own rules against mislabeled plant-based imitators for four decades. The organization announced it is encouraged by recent, long overdue FDA attention to the issue.
“Labeling integrity needs to be a top-of-mind issue for Dr. Califf as he moves toward his second stint as FDA commissioner,” says Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “The ground has shifted since his previous tenure in the Obama administration, both as dairy imitators proliferate and the abuse of lax labeling enforcement creates nutritional confusion for consumers.”
He notes the FDA has pledged to offer guidance on this issue within months.