MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) shared today that it eagerly anticipates working with Dr. Robert Califf, the newly confirmed Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to enforce the agency’s own standards on the labeling of imitation dairy products. In response to questions from U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) during his confirmation hearing in December, Califf said that he would commit to ensuring transparency in labeling.
Following today’s confirmation vote, WCMA Executive Director John Umhoefer issued the following statement:
“We’re encouraged by Commissioner Califf’s assertion that truth in food labeling is a fundamental priority. WCMA urges FDA to move quickly to enforce the agency’s existing standards and regulations, remedying years of inaction. Real dairy and cheese offer nutritional benefits and great taste that just can’t be beat, and consumers deserve to know exactly what they’re buying and serving to their families.”
A consumer study, sponsored in part by WCMA, has shown that one-quarter of people believe real milk is present in plant-based foods that mimic cheese. One-third of those studied think plant-based mimics contain protein, though imitators have little to no protein. One-quarter think plant-based mimics are lower in calories or fat, and have fewer additives, but neither perception is true.