Last month, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will reopen the comment period of draft guidance related to the labeling of plant-based milk alternatives (PBMA) to allow additional time for submission of comments. The draft guidance was originally published in the Federal Register on February 23, 2023, to help ensure appropriate labeling of plant-based products that are marketed and sold as milk alternatives.
The FDA guidance recognizes commonly labeled products such as “soy milk” but recommends that the plant-based products have a voluntary nutrient statement comparing the product to fluid milk as defined by USDA nutrient criteria. The goal of the guidance is to help consumers make informed dietary choices. Consumer studies indicate that most consumers understand that PBMA do not contain milk, but many are unaware of the nutritional differences between traditional dairy milk and plant-based milk alternatives.
Comments already submitted reflect a wide difference between dairy and plant-based milk producers as to how best to describe and label non-dairy milk and reflect its nutritional value to consumers.