Truth-In-Labeling Bills Pass Assembly

The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association and Dairy Business Association are applauding state Assembly’s unanimous passage of three bills designed to protect consumers from misleading labels on imitation “dairy” and “meat” products.

The entities are calling for quick action in the Senate, as well.

“Members of the Wisconsin State Assembly sent a strong message today, that consumers deserve to know exactly what they’re buying and serving to their families,” WCMA President Dave Buholzer said. “Real dairy milk and cheese deliver superior nutrition, and a taste that can’t be beat – and America’s Dairyland has the opportunity this June Dairy Month to lead the charge for labeling transparency.”

“The time is now for Wisconsin lawmakers to provide clarity in the consumer marketplace, and fairness for dairy farmers, dairy processors and beef producers who have worked hard to establish reputations for delivering safe, nutritious and delicious foods,” DBA President Amy Penterman said. “Our thanks go to every single member of the State Assembly for recognizing the importance of this legislation and taking action to support their constituents.”

AB 73/SB 81 and AB 74/SB 83 would prohibit the labeling of food as milk or as a dairy product or ingredient, if the food is not made from the milk of a cow or other hooved mammal. The bills would bring Wisconsin in line with existing but currently unenforced FDA regulations defining these products. 

AB 75/SB 82 would prohibit labeling plant-based meat alternatives and cell-cultured meat alternatives as “meat” or a similar term.

All of the bills enjoy bipartisan support, and – in addition to WCMA and DBA – are backed by Cooperative Network, GrassWorks, Inc., Midwest SouthEastern Equipment Dealers Association, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agri-Business Association, Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Farmers Union, and Wisconsin Pork Association.