• As previously reported on this blog, FDA’s comment period on the use of the terms, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, in the labeling of plant-based products ended on January 28, 2019. FDA’s standard of identity for milk defines milk in part as the “lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows.
  • On February 21, 2019, after the end of FDA’s comment period, the National Milk Producers Federation filed a citizen petition to FDA requesting that the agency: (1) enforce existing “imitation” labeling requirements against non-dairy substitutes for dairy foods; and (2) codify FDA policies to permit the name of a standardized dairy food to be used in the statement of identity of a non-dairy substitute for standardized food when products are deemed nutritionally equivalent to the dairy products they reference.
  • Pursuant to 21 CFR 10.30(e)(2), the FDA must respond to citizen petitions within 180 days of receipt although the response may not be substantive and could simply be that they need more time to review the citizen petition. FDA action or response to its request for comments on labeling of plant-based products is also forthcoming. We will continue to monitor this situation and report on any developments.