Congressman Blumenauer Leads a Letter to FDA in Support of Plant-Based Food Products

March 28, 2019
Press Release

 

Portland, Ore – Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), along with several members of Congress, wrote a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in support of plant-based alternative food products like almond milk and coconut butter. The lawmakers wrote to urge FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and the agency to preserve use of terms like “milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter” in product labels of plant-based alternatives.  

 

“American consumers seek these [plant-based] alternatives for many reasons, including allergies or intolerance to dairy, nutritional needs, religious and ethical beliefs, sustainability, and, quite often, taste preference,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “To prevent these food products from including the names of dairy foods in their labels would only lead to confusion in the marketplace.”

 

“We applaud Congressman Blumenauer and his colleagues in the House for advocating for food innovation by asking the FDA to not make unnecessary and harmful labeling changes,” said Michele Simon, Executive Director of the Plant Based Food Association.  “The FDA’s proposed labeling changes would undermine our members’ ability to communicate to consumers who are seeking out healthier and more sustainable plant-based options.”

 

In 2018, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced FDA’s Nutrition Innovation Strategy (NIS) in a speech to the National Food Policy Conference.  As part of its strategy, the FDA is considering approaches to modernize “standards of identity,” which are regulations that set forward requirements for the content and sometimes the methods used to produce certain foods.

Click here to read the letter.

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