East Texas dairy farmer reacts to FDA’s guidance on plant-based ‘milk’

East Texas dairy farmer reacts to FDA’s guidance on plant-based ‘milk’
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 4:30 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2023 at 11:29 AM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Can it be labeled milk? That’s the question the FDA has to answer when it comes to plant-based milks like almond milk and oat milk. For now, the FDA said they can still be labeled milk.

“Well, it all boils down to using the word milk,” Bobby Trimble, owner of Trimble Farms in Big Sandy said. “As a farmer and as the dairy industry goes, the word milk is a dairy product.”

The FDA draft said plant-based alternatives can be labeled as a milk but beverage makers must label products clearly by the plant source and the label must have a nutrient statement that shows how the product compares to milk. They also gave an option for citizens to leave their comments.

“You can sell it. If people want to drink it, that’s fine, but don’t even give that comparison that they’re the same because they’re not the same,” Trimble said.

Which CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital Clinical Dietitian Cindy Martyn said while there is no good or bad, you need to read the label to see which is best for you and your health. “Cow’s milk is going to have higher calcium, B-12, as well as vitamin D,” Martyn said. But if you are lactose intolerant for example, “Plant based sometimes could be better for renal patients and if you are looking for weight loss.”

“And that’s okay,” Trimble said. “If there’s other options, that’s fine. But when they put the word milk on there, they’re trying to get it in your mind that this is like milk when it has nothing to do with milk.”