Monday - March 6, 2017 10:12 pm

Milk is only milk if it comes from the mammary gland, says Wisconsin Farmers Union pres.

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Bill in D.C. seeking to identify what is milk.

You got your milk and honey. Mother's milk. The milk of human kindness. Even the milk there's no use crying over.

But it's only, really milk, says Wisconsin Farmers Union president Darin Von Ruden, if it comes from a mammary gland.

Wisconsin dairy farmers are hopeful for a bill in Washington seeking to identify when milk is actually milk.

The Dairy Pride Act would enable the FDA to regulate what can be labeled milk.

And those things would not be made from soybeans, rice, almonds or anything else that's not actually an animal milk producer, which sounds right to Von Ruden, also a Westby, Wis., dairy farmer.

"It's always been something we've tried to keep a very close eye on," Von Ruden admitted, "the official definition of milk is something that's secreted from a mammary gland and as far as I know, soybeans and almond nuts don't have mammary glands on them."

The word itself, Von Ruden says, needs to be associated correctly.

"We'd certainly like to be able to keep the integrity of the word milk as something being produced from an animal's mammary gland," he said.

Although the FDA has an official definition for what milk is, that definition is not currently enforced in labeling.

So, Von Ruden says, other products shouldn't be labeled as milk, no matter what those industries might say.

"With the good name that dairy has had over the years as the most natural food around, you start to wonder if they're trying to mislead consumers," Von Ruden said. "That's always been a concern of most dairy farmers around the country."

The proposed Dairy Pride Act has its critics. Some have called it a solution in search of a problem.  

 

Last modified on Tuesday - March 7, 2017 2:25 am
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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