Plant-based, non-dairy milk producers scored a win when the Food and Drug Administration issued guidance stating products like almond, oat, and soy options can be called milk.
The agency noted that the plant-based milks were not being misrepresented to customers as true dairy products. According to the guidance, new rules would make it necessary for plant-based milk makers to clearly label which plant the beverage was made from, like 'soy milk' or 'oat milk.'
The draft rules also say packaging must contain additional nutritional labels that inform customers when the product would contain lower nutritional value than dairy milk.
For its part, the National Milk Producers Federation applauded the additional labeling guidelines by the FDA.
"By acknowledging both the utter lack of nutritional standards prevalent in plant-based beverages and the confusion over nutritional value that's prevailed in the marketplace because of the unlawful use of dairy terms, FDA's proposed guidance today will provide greater transparency that's sorely needed for consumers to make informed choices," it wrote.
Despite the approval of the nutritional standards, the NMPF still accused the FDA of violating its "own standards of identity" by allowing the continuation of plant-based beverages to be called milk.