Posted 2 months ago on Feb. 28, 2013, 1:35 p.m. EST by LeoYo
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Milk Industry Petitions FDA to Allow Aspartame
February 28, 2013 at 9:00AM by Kiri Tannenbaum
Milk has no added sugar, but the dairy industry is asking the Food and Drug Administration to allow it to add artificial sweeteners in the hopes of creating a lower-calorie milk product that will attract more consumers. The only catch: They don't want to announce the reduction in calories due to the sweetener on the label.
Currently the FDA regulation states that milk can contain only "nutritive sweeteners," which have calories and are recognized as safe by the FDA. According to the journal for the U.S. government, the Federal Register, the International Dairy Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have asked the agency to allow the industry to use "any safe and suitable" sweetener and "allow optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk (e.g., chocolate flavoring added to milk) to be sweetened with any safe and suitable sweetener — including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame." The industry believes that offering lower-calorie flavored milks, such as chocolate milk, will benefit school children who are more inclined to drink flavored milks. This lower-calorie product, they believe, will help in the fight against childhood obesity.
But why don't the IDFA and the NMPF want to include a nutrient content claim, such as "reduced calorie," on the label? According to the petition, they argue that placing "reduced calorie" on labels will not attract children and that consumers can "more easily identify the overall nutritional value of milk products that are flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners if the labels do not include such claims."
IDFA and the NMPF filed this petition to allow artificial sweeteners back in 2009. Just last week the FDA published a notice of petition requesting "comments, data, and information about the issues presented in the petition filed by the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation to amend the standard of identity for milk and 17 other dairy products to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient." That information is due to the FDA by May 21, 2013.
Do you think the milk industry should be allowed to add artificial sweeteners to create a lower-calorie product?