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FDA Seeks Stakeholder Comments on Dairy Groups’ Petition to Change Labeling Rules for Flavored Milk Products

CFSAN Constituent Update

May 2, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to hear from consumers, industry and other stakeholders about a citizen petition submitted by two dairy groups to change labeling rules for flavored milk products sweetened with non-nutritive (artificial) sweeteners.

Currently, FDA’s standard of identity regulations require that flavored milk products like chocolate milk that are sweetened with non-nutritive sweeteners include a nutrient content claim (e.g. “reduced calories” or “low sugar”) as part of the product name on the label.   For example, the replacement of nutritive sweeteners (such as sugar) with non-nutritive sweeteners in chocolate milk would reduce the product’s calorie count. Because of the replacement, such a product could be called “reduced calorie chocolate milk.”  In addition, FDA regulations require that the specific name of the non-nutritive sweetener must be included in the list of ingredients. The petition, which was submitted by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), asks FDA to amend the current standard of identity for milk to allow flavored milk products such as chocolate milk sweetened with non-nutritive sweeteners to not have to include a nutrient content claim in the products’ name. If the petition were granted, chocolate milk products sweetened with non-nutritive sweeteners could be named “chocolate milk” without any additional nutrient content claim. However, the non-nutritive sweetener would still be required to be included in the ingredient list on the label. The petition also seeks similar changes for 17 additional dairy products.  On February 20, 2013, FDA published in the Federal Register a request for data and comments on the IDFA’s and NMPF’s petition. 

To help consumers and other stakeholders understand details of the petition submitted by the IDFA and NMPF, FDA has posted a Consumer Update on the issue. FDA encourages consumers, industry and other stakeholders and interested persons to file comments on the petition with the agency.

Comments can be submitted until May 21, 2013, at by searching Docket No. FDA-2009-P-0147.

You may also submit written comments by mail, hand delivery, or courier to:
Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061
Rockville, MD 20852
All submissions received must include FDA’s name and Docket No. FDA-2009-P-0147.

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