Milk Machine Aims to Hook Kids on Chemical Sweeteners

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Because the market is swamped with sugar beverages disguised as “vitamin water” and “energy drinks,” milk is no longer the American household staple. Milk consumption has been declining rapidly, and while all sorts of reasons are trotted out, the reality is that people have become educated just enough that they are suspicious of grocery store milk due to the use of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) in cattle to boost milk production at decreased costs. Folks are becoming aware of the tricks of the industrial food machine, and they are beginning to question the status quo.

As a solution to sagging milk sales, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) are petitioning the FDA to “amend the standard identity of milk” and other dairy products. That is, the proposed solution to sluggish industry sales is to hook more children on dairy products by adding chemical sweeteners. Dairy special interests want to be able to add high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and other chemicals to milk while bypassing the requirement that the products be labeled “artificially sweetened.” The attempt is to pass this off as a health benefit for children because the chemical sweeteners are not considered to be sugar. A portion of the proposed rule reads as follows:

IDFA and NMPF state that the proposed amendments would promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity by providing for lower-calorie flavored milk products. They state that lower-calorie flavored milk would particularly benefit school children who, according to IDFA and NMPF, are more inclined to drink flavored milk than unflavored milk at school. As further support for the petition, IDFA and NMPF state that the proposed amendments would assist in meeting several initiatives aimed at improving the nutrition and health profile of food served in the nation’s schools. Those initiatives include state-level programs designed to limit the quantity of sugar served to children during the school day.

2:53 pm on March 2, 2013
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