One of Dairy’s “Three Amigos” faceplants at Ag hearing. Dairy industry divided on the definition of “milk.”
L to R: Vilsak, Dykes and Mulhern (as “Little Ned”)
Michael Dykes, CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, in testimony delivered today before the House Agriculture Committee, broke from his colleagues when the controversial subject of having the FDA re-define the word “milk” was raised.
Rep. LaMalfa (R-) CA said that the Dairy Pride Act is a “crackdown” on the word milk posing as “consumer protection.” LaMalfa said he was “mystified” at the direction the Dairy Pride Act is going. He said that soy and almond Milk were “easily differentiated.”
Said Dykes: “We have members on both sides of this issues so it is very difficult. So far, FDA has not concluded that consumers are being misled. This issue needs to be resolved in the market place is our position.”
Added Dykes: “The Dairy Pride Act ”tends to pit farmer against farmer.”
That directly countered the testimony of amigo Jim Mulhern, CEO of National Milk Producers Federation, who in his testimony doubled down on advocating the FDA change the definition of the word “milk” in order to give dairy producers marketing advantage.
To the eye-rolls of many in the room, Mulhern cited “Milk of Magnesia” and “peanut butter” as examples where consumers were smart enough to know they were not dairy products. But Mulhern then asserted consumers were too stupid to know that “real” milk (by his definition) didn’t come from nuts and other plants.
The other remaining Amigo, Tom Vilsac (pronounced, oddly enough: “veal-sack”) was unavailable for comment.
But it appears the solid front of the dairy industry on this issue is crumbling faster than a cookie dipped in a glass of “lacteal secretions of a bovine.”