WASHINGTON, D.C. (Gray DC) - There’s a congressional food fight underway in the nation’s capital.
Walking down the dairy aisle leaves some lawmakers with a sour taste in their mouths.
“When something calls itself milk that has nothing to do with cows or goats or hooved animals, it’s not milk,” said Sen. Angus King (I-Maine).
Sen. King and Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont say plant products, like soy and almond milk, are cashing in on dairy’s brand.
The pair, along with lawmakers from 15 states, are hoping to force milk alternatives to rebrand by narrowing the definition.
The FDA is already considering whether to define milk sold in stores as only coming from animals with hooves.
Those who lobby for plant-based alternatives on Capitol Hill say forcing label changes would be misguided.
“I’m all for helping these farmers, but I think we need to do it without trampling on the first amendment,” said Ken Forsberg with Good Food Institute.
Forsberg argues that shoppers understand what it means when they see the word ‘almond’ or ‘soy’ in front of the word ‘milk’.
This is not the first time lawmakers from dairy territory have proposed narrowing milk’s definition.
Congress did not seriously consider it last session but it is unclear if that will change moving forward.