ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation thanked Senator Tammy Baldwin for her advocacy for public health and labeling transparency in her questions for Dr. Stephen Hahn during today’s hearing on his nomination to be commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“As the nation’s top health official, Dr. Hahn would face many challenging issues, labeling integrity high among them. It’s heartening to hear the nominee pledge that an FDA under his leadership will immediately examine this crucial unfinished business,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Given his stated commitment to science- and data-based decision-making and his concern for public nutrition, we expect FDA will soon begin enforcing its own standards – which clearly reserve dairy terms for real dairy products, not plant-based imposters who mislead consumers by mislabeling nutritionally inferior products. We thank Senator Baldwin for pressing for urgent action today as part of her ongoing efforts to resolve this health and nutrition issue.”
In response to a question from Sen. Baldwin asking him whether and when the FDA will begin enforcing its own labeling standards, Dr. Hahn voiced his support for “clear, transparent, and understandable labeling for the American people.
“The American people need this so that they can make the appropriate decisions for their health and for their nutrition. I very much will look into this issue,” Dr. Hahn said, later adding he would “look at this as soon as I am confirmed.” Video of Dr. Hahn’s exchange with Sen. Baldwin is here.
The National Milk Producers Federation, which has been speaking out on plant-based imitators for four decades, has been encouraged by recent, long overdue FDA attention to the issue. For more background on NMPF’s position and statements of support from public-health organizations, click here. NMPF also in February released a “road map,” found here, for how the agency can adapt existing standards to reflect the current marketplace and protect labeling integrity.