Soy ‘milk’? Even federal agencies can’t agree on terminology

Photo: AP

NEW YORK (AP) – Dairy farmers want regulators to banish the term “soy milk,” but documents show even government agencies haven’t always agreed on what to call such drinks.

The USDA “fervently” wanted to use the term “soy milk” in educational materials, according to emails released in response to a lawsuit. That irked the FDA, the agency that oversees the federal rule defining milk as coming from healthy cows.

The FDA warned in the 2011 spat that the USDA’s intent to use the term was “not a trivial decision,” but that apparently didn’t suffice. The USDA’s site currently says calcium-fortified “soymilk” is part of the dairy group.

Even now, the National Milk Producers Federation says it’s working to build support in Congress for legislation directing the FDA to enforce the federal standard.

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