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Food Politics

By Marion Nestle

The FDA is collecting opinions on a dairy industry petition to change the standard of identity for milk. The dairy industry wants to be able to add artificial sweeteners to chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk without saying so on the front panel of the package.

Why is the dairy industry doing this? Because it believes that:

Labels such as “reduced calorie” or “no added sugar” are a turn-off to kids who might otherwise reach for flavored milk with non-nutritive (artificial) sweeteners at the school cafeteria or from the grocery store cooler.

As if kids should be reaching for milk with artificial sweeteners.

The FDA wants to hear from you about this. It wants your comments on these questions (my translation):

  • If the label just says Chocolate Milk, will consumers understand that the milk is artificially sweetened?

  • Are descriptions like “reduced calorie” really unattractive to children?

  • Will it be hard for consumers to figure out whether a product contains sugar or an artificial sweetener?

How about a couple of other questions?

  • Why would anyone put artificial sweeteners into milk in the first place?

  • Is giving artificial sweeteners to children a good idea?

  • Why does milk for kids have to be sweetened? Can’t kids drink plain, unflavored milk?

Just asking. Do weigh in on this one. It’s not hard to do. Click here to comment.

Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD page for more related news on this topic.

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