2019-02-07 / Front Page

Joyce Takes Action To Protect Dairy Farmers

Leads bipartisan letter to crack down on milk imitators
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Joyce Joyce Washington, D.C. – Congressman John Joyce (PA-13) and Congressman Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) this week led a bipartisan letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner (FDA) Scott Gottlieb encouraging the agency to continue enforcing regulations regarding the proper labeling of dairy products.

In the last several years, more and more products have come to be labeled with standardized dairy terms, even though they are imitations or substitutes of actual dairy products. Joyce and Brindisi’s letter commends the FDA for its effort to put a stop to this ongoing problem. A similar request to the FDA was made by a bip artisan coalition of lawmakers in 2018.

“As a doctor, it is clear to me that the mislabeling of milk creates a public health issue,” said Congressman Joyce. “Consumers should be able to feel confident that they are getting the proper nutritional value from their dairy products and enforcing these federal regulations is necessary for that to occur.”

Joyce also noted the harm that has been done to the dairy industry in Pennsylvania as a result of the manufacturers of plant-based beverages falsely identifying their products as milk.

“In visits to dairy farm after dairy farm, I have heard about the lost revenue that plant-based dairy imitators have taken on our economy and it is incredibly urgent we continue to monitor the subject,” added Joyce. “Partnering with the FDA to continue to revive Pennsylvania’s dairy industry is one of my top priorities this term.”

Nearly 20 percent of Pennsylvania’s dairy farms and over a quarter of the state’s total milk cows reside in the counties that make up the 13th District. Pennsylvania is the sixth leading state in the country for dairy production.

Eight additional freshman colleagues joined Joyce and Brindisi in signing the letter.

The letter is part of Joyce’s ongoing effort to assist Pennsylvania’s dairy industry, which has struggled, not only from the imitation and substitute dairy items in the marketplace, but also from the decline in milk consumption in schools.

Earlier last week the 13th District law maker acted to incentivize children to drink more milk by cosponsoring H.R. 832, the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2019. The measure allows for whole milk (both unflavored and flavored) to be offered in schools.

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