01.31.17

In Letter to President Trump, Senator Baldwin Continues Fight Against Unfair Practice Hurting Wisconsin Dairy Farmers

Senator Baldwin urges Trump to nominate FDA Commissioner to combat the mislabeling of non-dairy products 

The DAIRY PRIDE Act fights back against non-dairy products using dairy’s good name

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As support for Senator Baldwin’s DAIRY PRIDE Act continues to gain strong support from farmers across Wisconsin and the country, Senator Baldwin wrote to President Trump urging action from the Food and Drug Administration to combat the mislabeling of imitation dairy products.

“I write to urge you to ensure that the Food and Drug Administration acts to solve a problem impacting consumers and Wisconsin’s dairy industry: the mislabeling of imitation dairy products. First, I would urge you to swiftly nominate a Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who understands the need to enforce these laws and provide consumers with accurate information about the products they consume. Second, I would encourage your Administration to enforce the laws on the books that allow the FDA to crack down on the mislabeling of non-dairy products with dairy terms including ‘milk,’ ‘yogurt,’ and ‘cheese,’” Senator Baldwin wrote.

This weekend, Senator Baldwin visited a family-owned-and-operated dairy farm in Chippewa Falls. During the farm visit, dairy farmers and processors discussed the DAIRY PRIDE Act, as well as the challenges and opportunities ahead for Wisconsin’s dairy industry and the nomination of Sonny Perdue for Agriculture Secretary.

Last week, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the American Farm Bureau Federation announced their support for the DAIRY PRIDE Act, joining the dozens of dairy farmers and processors who have announced their strong support for the reform. Senator Baldwin’s DAIRY PRIDE Act is also supported by the Wisconsin Farmers Union, National Farmers Union, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, National Milk Producers Federation, Midwest Dairy Coalition, Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, International Dairy Foods Association, The Cooperative Network and the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, Bongards Creameries, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, First District Association, Dairy Business Association, Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, Mid-west Dairymen's Company, Scenic Central Milk Producers, Brothers Smidel Farms, Associated Milk Producers Inc., Tin Valley Farms, and Vision Aire Farms.

Senator Baldwin’s DAIRY PRIDE Act stands up for Wisconsin dairy farmers by combating the unfair practice of mislabeling non-dairy products. Current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations define dairy products as being from dairy animals. Although existing federal regulation are clear, the FDA has not enforced these labeling regulations and the mislabeling of products has increased rapidly. This hurts dairy farmers who work tirelessly to ensure their Made in Wisconsin dairy products meet FDA standards and provide the public with nutritious food. It has also led to the proliferation of mislabeled alternative products that contain a range of ingredients and nutrients that are often not equivalent to the nutrition content of dairy products.

The DAIRY PRIDE Act would require the FDA to issue guidance for nationwide enforcement of mislabeled imitation dairy products within 90 days and require the FDA to report to Congress two years after enactment to hold the agency accountable for this update in their enforcement obligations.

An online version of the letter is available here