by Marion Nestle
Apr 18 2013

FDA wants comments on labeling of artificial sweeteners in milk

The FDA is collecting opinions on a dairy industry petition to change the standard of identity for milk.  The dairy industry wants to be able to add artificial sweeteners to chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk without saying so on the front panel of the package.

FDA Wants Your Opinion on Dairy-Product Labels - (JPG v2)

Why is the dairy industry doing this?  Because it believes that:

Labels such as “reduced calorie” or “no added sugar” are a turn-off to kids who might otherwise reach for flavored milk with non-nutritive (artificial) sweeteners at the school cafeteria or from the grocery store cooler.

As if kids should be reaching for milk with artificial sweeteners.  

The FDA wants to hear from YOU about this.  It wants your comments on these questions (my translation):

  • If the label just says Chocolate Milk, will consumers understand that the milk is artificially sweetened?
  • Are descriptions like “reduced calorie” really unattractive to children?
  • Will it be hard for consumers to figure out whether a product contains sugar or an artificial sweetener?
How about a couple of other questions?
  • Why would anyone put artificial sweeteners into milk in the first place?
  • Is giving artificial sweeteners to children a good idea?
  • Why does milk for kids have to be sweetened?  Can’t kids drink plain, unflavored milk?
Just asking.  Do weigh in on this one.  It’s not hard to do.

Go to www.regulations.gov. Search for docket number FDA-2009-P-0147. 

Comments

  • Karin Olson
  • January 10, 2014
  • 1:01 pm

I think the use of ANY artificial sweetener should be readily apparent on the the labels – whether front or back. I can’t stand the taste of sucralose or other artificial sweeteners, and if I do drink something with sucralose (by accident before knowing the ingredients) I get a headache. I’m disturbed by the trend to put sucralose in so many foods & beverages. Just use less REAL SUGAR and let consumers add more if they want!

[…] As CBS detailed a few years ago, products including Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Pillsbury Toaster Strudels, and V-8 Splash juice appeared coy about the fact that they included the artificial sweetener sucralose. Meanwhile, diet and reduced-calorie sodas often don’t highlight the fact that at least some of the sugar is replaced with other ingredients that provide similar sweetness. Seagram’s appears to have done that last year with its regular, non-diet Ginger Ale, adding sucralose and touting lower calories. And the issue even extends to flavored milk. […]

[…] As CBS detailed a few years ago, products including Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Pillsbury Toaster Strudels, and V-8 Splash juice appeared coy about the fact that they included the artificial sweetener sucralose. Meanwhile, diet and reduced-calorie sodas often don’t highlight the fact that at least some of the sugar is replaced with other ingredients that provide similar sweetness. Seagram’s appears to have done that last year with its regular, non-diet Ginger Ale, adding sucralose and touting lower calories. And the issue even extends to flavored milk. […]

[…] As CBS detailed a few years ago, products including Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Pillsbury Toaster Strudels, and V-8 Splash juice appeared coy about the fact that they included the artificial sweetener sucralose. Meanwhile, diet and reduced-calorie sodas often don’t highlight the fact that at least some of the sugar is replaced with other ingredients that provide similar sweetness. Seagram’s appears to have done that last year with its regular, non-diet Ginger Ale, adding sucralose and touting lower calories. And the issue even extends to flavored milk. […]

[…] with its regular, non-diet Ginger Ale, adding sucralose and touting lower calories. And the issue even extends to flavored milk. […]

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