Call for la­bel clar­i­fi­ca­tion

Shepparton News - Country News - - REAL ESTATE -

Aus­tralia had fallen be­hind the United States, the Euro­pean Union, Canada, Nor­way, Ice­land and New Zealand in reg­u­lat­ing the use of dairy terms, ac­cord­ing to na­tional ad­vo­cacy group Dairy Con­nect.

The group’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Shaughn Mor­gan said con­sumers had the right to know clearly when they were not buy­ing real dairy prod­ucts.

He was com­ment­ing on an ar­ti­cle by In­ter­na­tional Dairy Fed­er­a­tion di­rec­tor gen­eral Caro­line Emond, in which Ms Emond said: ‘‘A plant-based sub­stance is no al­ter­na­tive to an­i­mal milk in terms of its com­po­si­tion, tex­ture, taste and nutri­tional value. A liq­uid plant-based prod­uct that bears a re­sem­blance to milk can be re­ferred to as a white bev­er­age. It is er­ro­neous to call it milk. You can’t milk a nut.’’

The US Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion plans to ban the use of the word ‘milk’ to de­scribe plant-sourced prod­ucts in an at­tempt to avoid con­fu­sion among con­sumers.

Mr Mor­gan said that in Aus­tralia plant-sourced prod­ucts such as soy, al­mond, hazel­nut, cashew, macadamia, oat, hemp, flax seed, quinoa, pea and rice were be­ing la­belled as milk.

‘‘They are be­ing mar­keted as al­ter­na­tives to milk and dairy prod­ucts to take ad­van­tage of the great nutri­tional rep­u­ta­tion of dairy,’’ he said.

‘‘Milk and plant-sourced prod­ucts have dif­fer­ent nutri­tional char­ac­ter­is­tics and there­fore each of th­ese prod­ucts is not a sub­sti­tute for the other.

‘‘Some plant prod­ucts con­tain pro­tein, but the qual­ity is not com­pa­ra­ble to an­i­mal pro­tein as they do not con­tain all the es­sen­tial amino acids.’’

Mr Mor­gan said dairy foods were ex­cel­lent sources of cal­cium, vi­ta­mins B2 and B12, high­qual­ity pro­tein, and car­bo­hy­drates.

■ Ms Emond’s ar­ti­cle can be found at: https://www.fil­­p­down-on­milk­ing-a-name-to-mar­ketve­gan-sub­sti­tute/

Pic­ture: AP Photo/Pa­trick Sison

Term in dis­pute . . . The in­gre­di­ents la­bel for al­mond milk.

Ques­tion . . . Is soy milk re­ally milk?

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