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Dairy groups petition FDA to allow aspartame and other “safe and suitable sweeteners” to be added to dairy products

milk gallonWASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have filed a petition requesting that the Agency amend the standard of identity for milk and 17 other dairy products to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient. FDA is issuing this notice to request comments, data, and information from the public about the issues presented in the petition.

The IDFA and NMPF request their proposed amendments to the milk standard of identity to allow optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk (e.g., chocolate flavoring added to milk) to be sweetened with any safe and suitable sweetener—including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame. 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.

If the standard of identity for milk is amended as requested by petitioners, milk manufacturers could use non-nutritive sweeteners in flavored milk without a nutrient content claim in its labeling.

The FDA requests that interested persons submit comments, data, and information concerning the need for, and the appropriateness of, amending the standard of identity for milk and the additional dairy standards.

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