Courtesy of Linda Bonvie
FoodIdentityTheft Blogger and CFH Contributor
April 23, 2013
What do you do if you’re the great and powerful American Dairy Industry and you want to make a major change in U.S. Food and Drug Administration food-labeling regulations, only to have your proposal met with an uproar from consumers? Well, you can then try and soft-pedal the actual aim of your petition – with a little help from your friends at the FDA of course!
Last Monday the regulatory agency posted a page at its web site to address the “confusion” on the issue. This new ‘education’ page, headed “FDA wants your opinion on dairy-products labels,” attempts to explain what the petition is all about by including a lot of rhetoric from the dairy industry itself – for example, “reduced calorie” labeling is “unattractive to children,” and updating the milk standard “would promote honesty and fair dealing.” The page then asks the public to offer comments on such questions as whether the proposed change will create an “increased burden for consumers” who want to know what their milk might be sweetened with.
So what’s behind the FDA’s transparent attempt to defend the petition against being ‘misunderstood’ by consumers? The answer can be found in the trade pub Food Business News, which quotes International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) spokesperson Peggy Armstrong as saying that the petition has “drawn some negative feedback due to misunderstanding” – an apparent reference to more than 33,000 negative comments on the petitions filed at the site.
Now granted, there has been a good deal of confusion about the purpose of this petition, which attempts to change the “standard of identity” for milk (and certain other dairy products). But one thing is clear from the responses – the fact that many people don’t want either the FDA or the industry to “mess with our milk,” as one writer put it, and just intuitively don’t seem to like the idea of “aspartame” being connected with “milk” in the same sentence.
But while supposedly attempting to dispel whatever “confusion” may exist over the petition, neither the FDA nor the IDFA have bothered to inform us about what the really big story here is – one that I wrote about at the end of last month.
As I noted then, the most alarming consequence for parents should the FDA approve the petition — and what’s in it for the dairy industry — is that by changing the standard of identity for milk, in effect the FDA will now be granting permission for aspartame-sweetened flavored milk to be offered in the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program, which it is currently not.
Existing regulations mandate that these two federally supported nutrition programs must include meals that offer eight ounces of milk. And that milk must be the kind described in the milk “standard of identity.” By changing that standard, I was informed by Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs, it would mean that artificially sweetened milk would then “meet the definition” required to potentially be served up to more than 31 million kids a day.
The “confusion” alluded to by the FDA stemmed from many people’s mistaken belief that aspartame is not now allowed in milk, and would be under the proposed change, The fact is, however, that nothing currently stops manufacturers from adding aspartame to flavored milk to their heart’s content – just as long as the front label contains some additional words to “signal the presence of artificial sweeteners” such as “reduced calorie milk” or “no added sugar” or perhaps even “dairy beverage.” And that’s where the new identity standard would come in, both knocking out the restriction against allowing artificially sweetened milk in those school programs and eliminating the front label “signal” (although aspartame would still be listed on the ingredients label).
But even if you don’t understand all the technical aspects of what a “standard of identity” is or the basics of food labeling laws, the thought of every child who participates in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Program being offered aspartame-sweetened milk on a daily basis should be enough of a reason to add your comments on this petition before the May 21 deadline. You can click here to go to the FDA site and tell them what you think.
Besides protecting kids from being served a neurotoxic chemical in their milk at school, it’s a chance for you to help “educate” both the FDA and the dairy industry in the kind of standards that consumers expect them to maintain.
Please, only what comes out of the cow’s udder…
What is wrong with your thinking? When is enough money enough?
Are you not part of We The People?
Not one penny of this buy off money will go with you when you leave this earth.
PS – hope none of you have or has anything to do with children.
There is no confusion from this consumer. The thought of aspertame in any of our food products is completely unacceptable to me, and the fact that these companies have to trick consumers like myself with creative labeling to sneek this ingredient into their products proves that they are acting in a criminal manner.
Aspartame in milk – are they nuts? I think the FDA wants us all to be sick. So many of our foods are already ruined – leave things natural as God intended. I am against all the hormones in milk also. There really is no nutrition left in our milk….
Please leave milk alone. It already has enough bad things in it.
I guess this is one of the many things that the FDA has screwed up or in the process of screwing up, some times things are best left alone!!!! too bad that the FDA isn’t truly unbiased and controlled by big business.
seems that no matter what I type in here gets sent for a rewrite!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Aspartame is a poison. See the science.
The US consummer overwhelmingly demands natural unadulterated food.
We won’t buy it!
Stop alowing additives to milk.
I DO NOT WANT TO UNKNOWINGLY EAT OR DRINK ANY PRODUCTS CONTAINING ASPARTAME, NOR DO I WANT ANY MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY TO UNKNOWINGLY HAVE TO EAT OR DRINK ANY PRODUCTS CONTAINING ASPARTAME!
Keep aspartame out of my milk and take it out of every other product containing it!
Does the FDA and the Dairy industry really believe we are that dumb? Our conventional milk and other dairy products are already a disgrace. I am abolutely NOT confused about this proposal. I am only confused by the FDA’s even entertaining such a proposal knowing full well that aspartame is dangerous wherever it is introduced. Adding aspartame to anything should be illegal. It’s a poison. The conventional dairy industry is only interested in money. In addition to being in total contradiction to any progress in the fight against obesity in school lunch programs, they are attempting to make milk “addictively” sweet so kids will demand more. They want the government, through school food programs to be part of the conspiracy to aleviate blame on themselves. What’s even more repulsive is that artificial sweeteners DO NOT help you lose weight. In fact, they make you GAIN weight. Adding anything to milk should be a personal choice made and performed by parents. There are already choices of artifially flavored milk products..none of which are anywhere close to being healthy.
On thing is sure, if this proposal succeeds, the label saying “MILK” wil be a total lie. Milk is milk….NOTHING added.
is the ONLY “MILK” than can responsibly be included or tolerated in any school lunch program.
How can aspartame but put in milk and not labeled? Aspartame is an ingredient we ban in our household because we know its dangers. It sickens me to think the FDA would allow this toxic ingredient in food without labeling, especially in foods that are given to children! Please do not allow this to happen. Aspartame IS TOXIC AND WE DO NOT WANT TO CONSUME IT IN ANY FOOD STUFF WHAT SO EVER!
Thank you for taking serious note of how we and most informed Americans feel about aspartame!
Come on, fake sweeteners in milk? Milk is milk not a fake product. It’s not all about money, what about health?
WE THE PEOPLE are tired of the big industries poisoning us and all our food with the governments permission! Leave your death chemicals out of our food and drink and use them in your OWN food and drink! I realize that we are up for slaughter but how about your kids and family. What if they eat some of you crap? You are beneath contempt! Hope you are happy with your money!!
There is no misunderstanding here.
I oppose “the thought of every child who participates in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Program being offered aspartame-sweetened milk on a daily basis…”
There is no place for aspartame in milk! Leave milk the way it was meant to be!
Don’t Mess With Our Milk!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No additives need to be put into the milk…….
We have enough inside already!
Nothing needs to be in the milk like Aspartame, as most people know how much danger it is to the human body. All these chemicals accumulate in their and become even MORE TOXIC. Why are you trying to keep our children sick ???
Nothing needs to be in the milk like Aspartame, as most people know how much danger it is to the human body. All these chemicals accumulate in their bodies and become even MORE TOXIC. Why are you trying to keep our children sick ???
1. Sweetener, of any kind, should not be added to milk. Why, because it’s milk, not some man made product.
2. Dubious schemes like the dairy industry is trying to pull is the very reason labeling should be required. So that I and my kids and grand kids know what they’re consuming. With labeling, people will be able to make a conscious decision to select sweetened milk. Think about it. If sweetened milk is really healthy for kids wouldn’t people knowingly select it if the product is labeled accordingly?
3. The dairy industry knows the public is more health conscious and would not knowingly select sweetened milk, at least not in the quantities the industry wants.
4. The dairy industry is trying to capitalize on an obese society and make a bad situation worse.
5. The worst part is the dairy industry wants the government/FDA to be part of the problem and even hide behind the government.
6. The question now is, Has the dairy bought enough influence in the government to have it their way.
7. What about it, have you been bought?
We have the best politicians money can buy and the dairy industry have bought their share. What about it, does the dairy industry own you to?
See comments above.
I will not buy foods with aspartame or any of its “cousins.” Keep it out of our food suppy!
Do NOT allow artificial additives to our milk!
Adding Aspartame to milk is asinine. And,a huge waste of tax-payer money to even consider such a horrible idea. Don’t do it!
Aspartame is an excitotoxin linked to neurological damage leading to such symptoms as seizures, migraines, MS like conditions.
It is a toxin that harms people.
If you allow this to happen, many people that have problems after consuming aspartame will have to quit using all milk products. I you allow aspartame in milk or any other product, for the SAFETY of the people you must require it be labeled as being in there.
Why change a good thing like milk to something harmful, especially when children are the innocent victims? I request that milk be left alone without adding any artificial sweetner!
As a health-conscious consumer, I must insist that the milk our children drink at school must remain as free from additives as possible. Adding aspartame to milk is a deadly move and leaves us all open to more disease in this country. Please DO NOT let this happen. If you wouldn’t feed it to your family, please do not feed it to mine. You are making our children a target.
Leave our milk alone…NO additives.
I definitely believe all dairy products or any product sold to consumers should be labeled to show the entire contents of what is contained in the product, especially, for the milk that is distributed at schools.
Quit drugging children
I wrote twice to Dr.Oz prior to him weeks later doing a show on this very issue of adding aspartame and surclose to dairy milk products and to go into them unlabeled, great job Dr.Oz thank you.
FDA aka Federal Disease to make money$$$ Administration and USDA traitors to the american people, we don not want the crap that neither you nor Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow Crop Life Sciences and Bayer Corp are trying to shove down our proverbial throats.
The head of the snake in the grass is EVIL Monsanto and MILLIONS of little people versus Goliath and our do nothing unless it hurts us or the enviornment Congress for the almighty dollar signs$$$
Monsanto who is behind most all this crap like Aspartame, they created it like they created DDT14 Agent Orange and now Agent Orange form of eating corn coming soon to a table near you, thanks again to Obama and other so called democrats now demo-RATS via the Monsanto GMO Rider by Senator Blunt of Missouri, hoem headquaters of Monsanto and helped them draft the legislation for them on their behalf, what a disgrace.
Wake up people and throw the bumps out and never? to return as lobbyist’s to hurt us evermore.
Thought it might not hurt to mention that I don’t feel right whenever I have aspartame. Can only describe it as a tightness in my head! But perhaps it IS all in my head, as I knew a rather spartan fellow who was a manager at The MITRE Corporation some years ago and atop their raquetball ladder, who, together with his physician, embarked on an 15-month effort to isolate and determine the sorce of his severe migraine headaches that he was having regularly for a year or so. They finally determined and verified that it was the aspartame now added to to his daily soda. Maybe my own personal issue is empathetic. In any case, I avoid aspartame like the plague.
There is enough sugar in plain old mild. Please do not add ANY sweetening to it. If you do, I shall simply buy milk from the health food store or from my friends with dairies. Add sweetening and there will be more obese children and people with Diabetes 2. Please.
Leave our milk alone.I’m tired of all the crap thats added to our food.Food additives are responsible for all the health issues in America.It’s driving up our health cost ten fold.
Do not further poison any milk or milk product with aspartame
I, and many people I know can not tolerate aspartame. We get a reaction similar to eating food that is spoiled with severe stomach cramps. That fact aside, there is absolutely no reason to add aspartame to milk and I am totally against it.
YOUR CONSIDERATION OF ASPARTAME TO MILK IS HEINOUS. THE FDA ALONG WITH BIG PHARMA AND POLITICAL MEDICINE CONTINUES TO COMMIT CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN EXCESS OF NAZI GERMANY, AND IT MUST STOP!!
This information about milk is outrageous. I drink milk twice a day but think I will stop. What else can I do??
I feel putting aspartame in milk should not be allowed. Milk should stay as pure ass possible. Stop being paid off by lobbyist.