The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) is leading a coalition in opposition to the DAIRY PRIDE Act currently in the United States Congress. This proposed federal bill would prohibit labeling non-dairy products with dairy-related terms like milk.
The full title of the proposed bill is Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, Milk, and Cheese To Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everyday Act. The bill claims that plant-based products labeled as milk, such as almond milk, are misleading to consumers and plant-based milk, cheese, and yogurt imitations do not provide the same nutrition content as genuine dairy products. In practice, the bill will “prohibit the sale of any food that uses the market name of a dairy product, is not the milk of a hooved animal, is not derived from such milk, and does not contain such milk as a primary ingredient.”
In an online petition started by the Good Food Institute, the new act is called absurd legislation and is interpreted as an attack on dairy competition. “Everyone knows that almond milk doesn’t come from cows who have been fed a lot of almonds!” the petition reads, “No one is purchasing plant-based milk, cheese, or yogurt because they’ve been tricked into thinking it’s a cow’s ‘lacteal secretions.’”
Dairy milk sales have been declining for decades. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, dairy milk consumption has gone from 112 kilograms (247 pounds) per person in 1976 to 93 kilograms (205 pounds) in 1996 and 70 kilograms (154 pounds) in 2016. Meanwhile, a recent report from PBFA and the Good Food Institute found a 20 percent increase in plant-based milk alternative sales over the past year.
PBFA advocates for and promotes plant-based food companies to expand the consumer market. Campbell Soup Company recently became the first major United States food company to join the PBFA. The coalition in opposition to the “DAIRY PRIDE Act” also includes the Soyfoods Association of North America, the Good Food Institute, and Blue Diamond.