An official high up in the agency essentially agreed with her criticism, Bottemiller Evich reports. The agency has “too many programs and not enough resources,” Janet Woodcock, the FDA’s chief deputy commissioner, told her, “and the disparity is deep.” As for the food division, it is “really important, but it is very under-resources.”
And yet, the FDA has apparently found time to intervene on behalf of the dairy industry to achieve one of its most important lobbying goals. “For too long, the FDA has failed to take steps to address the nutritional crisis we face in our country,” Booker said, referring to rising levels of diet-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes, is attributed to consumption of easily regulated ultra-processed foods. “Instead of using their regulatory authority to protect consumers, the FDA now appears to be ready – in a blatant example of regulatory capture after years of pressure from the dairy industry – to take steps solely aimed at protecting market shares for conventional milk. I am deeply concerned about the FDA’s misunderstood priorities and hope that the Office of Management and Budget will return the proposed guidance to the FDA for reconsideration. ” The budget office declined to comment on its timeline for decision on the FDA’s proposal.
In a letter to OMB released on May 19, Booke teamed up with Senator Mike Lee of Utah, Representative Julia Brownley of California and Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina to make a similar request that OMB break down any plan to crack down on the label of plant-based milk. They pointed to a federal court from 2017 decision rejects the dairy industry’s claim that consumers cannot assess the nutritional differences between dairy and non-dairy products.
To me, Big Dary’s fixation on hoarding the name “milk” is as confusing as Califf’s decision to make the subject a priority right now. Consumption of cow’s milk has been declining for decades, since long before increase in almond milk from the early 2010s and the newer ones oatmeal boom. In 1945, on average, Americans were gossiped about 45 gallons of dairy milk annually per capita, which equates to an impressive 2.3 cups daily. It turned out to be the peak prior to a long and stable downhill slope. Now, 77 years later, we are just consuming 0.57 cups daily, and decreasing, almost half of it in cereals or mixed in other beverages such as coffee.
After decades as peripheral foods found mostly in health food stores, dairy-free alternatives began to rise in popularity during the 21st century and now account for 15 percent of “all dollar sales of retail milk.” according to to the vegan think tank The Good Food Institute. Still, Big Dairy can not blame the emergence of alternatives for even the recent drop in milk. A 2020 examination of USDA researchers found that “the increase in sales during 2013 to 2017 of plant-based options is one-fifth the size of the decline in Americans’ purchases of cow’s milk.” It concluded that “sales of plant-based milk alternatives contribute to – but not a primary driver of – declining sales of cow’s milk.”
There is also no evidence that the U.S. turn away from milk as a beverage has required negative nutritional consequences. Dietary intake of calcium, the product’s signature nutrient, steadily increased for all age groups between 1994 and 2010, a USDA examination found, even when the milk consumption per. per capita fell. Similarly, cow’s milk offers several times as much protein as most of its plant-based rivals; but when we have turned away from it, sign of one protein deficiency in our diets have not evolved.
In short, the battle over what we should call the things we trust to improve coffee and breakfast products is very much like a storm in a cappuccino cup. The FDA has several burning issues to take care of. Such as. the current infant formula crisis. And so does the dairy industry – including the problem of chronic overproduction.